How to fuel your body for maximal gym performanceAug 17, 2022
My personal training clients want to get the most out of their valuable training time and effort.
You can dramatically accelerate your body transformation and strength gain results by fuelling yourself optimally before and after going to the gym.
Let's explore what to eat before, during and after training to maximise your fat loss and muscle-building results.
What to eat before a workout?
Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source for your muscles and nervous system while you lift weights.
Your nervous system will use the carbohydrates you consume before training to power your efforts at the gym.
Dietary protein provides the raw materials for new, stronger, and bigger muscle proteins. Therefore you should ingest protein before working out so that the digested and assimilated amino acids are already flowing in your bloodstream while at the gym. This will accelerate your recovery from the training session.
So, we've learned that you should consume carbohydrates and protein before working out. What about fats?
It turns out that fat digestion takes a long time and will slow down the overall digestion and absorption of nutrients from food.
High fat consumption can lead to indigestion and make you feel queasy while working out. Not ideal if you want to maximise every moment you've managed to set aside to be at the gym.
What to eat during a workout?
Should you consume BCAA's or other supplements while you work out? Perhaps a mixture of essential amino acids, carbohydrate powder and electrolytes?
Firstly, as long as you consume enough protein daily (1,8-2,2g per kg of body weight), you DO NOT need to consume amino acids while you train. It's like throwing a glass of water into an ocean. Makes no difference.
Secondly, unless you are a professional athlete and work out for hours, you do not need to worry about extra carbohydrates while you train. Make sure to include a healthy serving of carbohydrates in your pre-workout meal.
What to eat after a workout?
Everybody knows that you should consume protein after working out. Remember, as long as you consume enough protein throughout the day; you DO NOT need to invest in a protein supplement.
However, a protein powder supplement can be a great idea if you are time-poor and can't get a proper meal after working out.
You should also include carbohydrates in your post-workout meal because this is when your muscles are very receptive to the glucose that you provide your body.
The carbohydrates you ingest after your training session are stored in the muscles as glycogen - a combination of glucose and water. The cool thing is that once your body has stored glucose in your muscles, this glycogen can't be depleted in any other way than contracting that muscle again.
Therefore, the carbohydrates you consume after your training session are already preparing your muscles for your NEXT training session.
Now you know why you should include protein and carbohydrates in your post-workout meal. What about fats?
Again, fats will slow down the digestion, assimilation and absorption of other nutrients, so it's a good idea to leave them out of our post-workout meal.
To conclude, you should consume most of your daily fat intake in other meals of the day, but try to avoid them in your pre-and post-workout meals.
Providing your body with the proper nutrients at the right time can boost your performance and accelerate your recovery from training. This allows you to lift more weights and recover quicker, leading to more muscle gains in the long term.
Suppose you would like to learn more specific recommendations on my favourite food sources. In that case, you should check out Episode 48 of the Wellness and High-Performance Podcast: "How should you eat to maximise your valuable training time".
This is Coach Pyry,
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Ready to take your training to the next level without breaking the bank?