There is always a big debate on Pre and Post Workout Nutrition meals and what are the best times, snacks and should I have a protein shake, etc, etc.
During your workouts, heavy lifting creates micro-tears in your muscles, these micro-tears in the muscle contribute to the soreness felt after exercising, this is called delayed onset muscle soreness – DOMS Syndrome. You want to give your body time to recover, 24 hours or more before going heavy on the weights again especially the same muscle groups you just worked which can slow the repair process and slow your muscle growth down.
So the question, for Pre-workout, that usually means making sure you consume high-quality, lean protein along with some complex carbohydrates. Give yourself about 30 minutes or more depending on how much you take in to avoid digestive issues and cramping.
After your workout (Post-Workout), you need high quality protein like a whey protein drink, then about 15 minutes afterwards or so; you’ll need fast absorbing carbohydrates like Gatorade.
Protein and Carbs Pre-Workout
Consuming protein and carbohydrates before a workout has a greater influence on muscle growth than protein and carbohydrates ingested post workout, according to studies. During exercise, elevated levels of protein and carbohydrates in your system allow for greater delivery of amino acids to your muscles while you work out. This leads to more muscle growth than if you were to only eat post-workout. Eat a light carb and protein-rich snack about 15 minutes to 45 minutes before your workout to maximize muscle growth and strength.
Recommendations for pre-workout foods:
Bananas: They’re loaded with easily digestible carbs and potassium (important for muscle and nervous system function)
Fruit and Greek yogurt: Thick, sour Greek yogurt is a great source of protein while fruit is full of natural carbohydrates
Oats and protein powder: Oats contain slow-digesting carbs and protein powder contains an awesome amino acid complex to promote muscle growth.
Eggs and whole wheat toast: Protein and carbs…need we say more?
What you eat immediately after hitting the gym will dictate the protein synthesis that takes place hours after your workout has ended and impact your growth and recovery.
Recommendations for post-workout meals and snacks:
A full balanced meal: Like fish, chicken or meat with veggies/salad and rice or potatoes
A protein shake: Ideally, it should contain 20-40 grams protein and 40-100 grams carbs
Protein Ice Cream: Try it, you’ll thank us later!
Casein protein powder: Taken 30 minutes prior to sleep
Proper nutrition is key to achieving your fitness goals. Even if you’re eating all the right foods, chances are you can improve your body composition by changing up the timing of your meals and supplementation to maximize your efforts in the gym!
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Thank you for the great information! This really helped!