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Sponsored Post: Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition Simplified

Fine tune your meals to fuel up your workouts and get the most out of every training session.

Kristen Bell, Registered Dietitian, Sports Nutritionist

Key Concepts


• Designing meals with protein first (necessary building blocks), followed by healthy fats and carbohydrates (for energy) is a prudent way to achieve your ideal body composition while considering the wide range in energy demands from person to person.

• During exercise, the primary fuels used by your muscles are carbohydrate and fat. In general, your muscles tend to burn more fat and less glucose when doing mild exercise.

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• The terms glucose and carbohydrates are used interchangeably to remind you that all carbohydrates eventually become a form of glucose.

• When single glucose molecules are floating in your bloodstream we commonly call this blood sugar. • When stored in muscle, several glucose molecules are strung together in branches we call glycogen.

• As exercise becomes more intense, a higher percentage of the working muscles energy demands are supplied by glucose, until at the highest intensities almost only carbohydrates are used.

• By stressing more work in less time, CrossFit workouts are devised to require exercise at higher intensities, increasing the need for carbohydrate stored in muscle -Vince Andrich

 

If you want to get the most out of your workouts, despite your chosen mode of exercise—whether it’s a grueling CrossFit workout, an intense spin class, or a brisk run in the mountains—you must take your pre-exercise and post-exercise nutrition seriously to provide the muscle with the raw materials it needs.

Since all intense forms of exercise use carbohydrates for energy, maintaining adequate carbohydrate stores in muscle makes good sense. Having 1-2 meals under your belt before training will give you more energy and a more effective workout. These meals should contain 30-45 grams of complex carbs for men and 20-30 grams for women. These carbs could consist of vegetables, sweet potatoes, beans, or whole grains, or dark berries.

Protein is vital to health, in particular, your intake around exercise. Taken before training, Whey protein has unique properties that make it the near perfect protein to aid an effective workout. If you don’t have a whey protein handy, a Quest Bar is a great way to get in the right combination of carbs and whey protein. Other strong protein choices are chicken, turkey, lean beef and eggs. Suggested range of protein is 25-45 grams for men and 15-25 grams for women.

After exercise your muscles are primed to re-fuel and rebuild making post-workout meal planning well worth the effort. Your post-workout meal is your first defense for maintaining and building lean muscle–the tissue that increases our metabolism and helps us burn more calories throughout the day.

Your post-workout meal should consist of protein, to rebuild and repair, and carbohydrate to replace energy stores. Suggested intake for protein is: 30-45 grams for men and 20-25 grams for women. For carbohydrates, consume both simple and complex; to minimize protein breakdown and re-fill carbohydrate stored in muscle. While your post-workout feeding should be rich in protein and carbohydrate, this meal should be fat-free.

The consumption of essential fats is one of the most overlooked areas of daily nutritional intake, but during the post-workout period, eating fat can actually decrease the effectiveness of your post-workout beverage. Since fat slows down transit through the stomach, eating fat during the post-workout period may slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and proteins.

Timing

• Pre-workout meal should be consumed 30 minutes to an hour beforehand
• Post-workout meal should be consumed immediately after exercise. The best pre-workout and post-workout nutrients are something I call my workout “sandwich.” I “sandwich” my workout with a complete carbohydrate and protein-rich shake or protein bar before and after training. Oftentimes, I will eat a Quest Bar for a pre-workout snack that gives just enough energy and stamina to have a killer workout, and follow it up with a protein shake complete with the proper nutrients. Try my smoothie recipe below.

Fuel-Up Workout Smoothie

• 1cup almond milk or water
• 3 ice cubes
• 1 scoop whey protein isolate powder (25 grams for women, 35 grams for men)
• ½-1 cup fruit (your choice – stick with dark berries for your pre-workout, any fruit
post-workout.)
• 1 tsp glutamine powder for women, 2 tsp for men
• 1 tsp BCAA powder for women, 2 tsp for men
• Blend together in a blender, or shake ingredients in a shaker cup and eat the fruit on the side.

 

 

This article is not by the Muscle & Fitness editorial staff. This article is written and/or provided by our Sponsor.

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