Combine training with the right foodBy Linda Ericson // Personal Trainer and Operations Manager at RCSN Fitness March 2018
What we consume before and after training is important when it comes to the results we want and actually will see from our training. A large number of athletes fail either completely or partially in the food area which of course leads to the inevitable absence of that dream physique we first imagined. Nothing kills motivation as effectively as the feeling of struggling without purpose. If you are not seeing any results from your gym sessions then you will most likely start making other priorities in life and skip your workouts, one by one.
Eat right before your workout
The food you eat before exercising should be in nutritional proportion to the amount of energy you will need during the workout and be sufficient in order to stabilize your cortisol levels afterwards. It is through this meal you ensure that the body stores enough energy, meaning that you are avoiding the risk of muscles beginning to burn themselves after the workout. When finishing your workout the system is more or less drained and it therefore requires a fast refill. It is also important that you stay away from foods that are "heavy" and take a long time for the body to digest. This will lower your performance, especially since a lot of energy is used to process the food you have just eaten. This practically means that our blood sugar drops and deprives us of the power we instead could have invested in a tough and intensive workout.
So, what should we really eat before taking on the weights?
To ensure that the glycogen deposits (the energy supply) in our muscles are filled, we need to consume fast and qualitative carbohydrates. Fast carbs, simply because they are easily digested. Also, keep the portion size on the low for the same reason and plan to eat your larger meals at other times during the day. Your focus should be on grains such as oatmeal and bread, as well as dairy products with low fat content. Of course, the protein should not be forgotten as it sends signals to the body to build muscle mass. Good protein can be found in lean meats, fish, nuts, and cottage cheese. In addition to the food itself, it is necessary that you drink enough since you will lose some water during your intensive workout in form of sweat.
If the criteria above are met you can eat about 30-60 minutes before exercising. A chicken sandwich or "breakfast food" such as yogurt and muesli are worthy options.
Tip! Avoid fatty and fiber rich foods as this may lead to stomach related problems during your workout.
Some people also see the benefit of boosting their workout with a PWO supplement (pre workout), tea or coffee. This can help you increase both energy levels as well as the body’s release of fat. One PWO is a product for individuals who, without unnecessary calories, wants to improve endurance, enhance fat burning, and enjoy that extra pump during exercise.
Eat right after your workout
Once we’ve finished our training, the recovery meal is what initiates the anabolic (building) phase. The muscle breakdown that begins during the training session gets interrupted as soon as we supply the muscles with glucose (carbohydrates). It is therefore important that we see that the muscles get this well needed refill as soon as possible since they are the most available for uptake immediately after exercise. Carbohydrates (for example banana or some other fruit) in combination with fast absorbed proteins such as One Whey will ensure that you get the most out of your workout. If you want an all-in-one product you should take a look at One Recovery which contains both fast absorbed carbs and protein. Your recovery meal is also a kind of guarantee that you will keep performing on a high level even during following sessions. Make sure you get this in within an hour after you’ve finished your last set.
General guidelines after training are:
Carbohydrates approximately 1-1.2 g / kg body weight
Protein about 20 g
Also, do not forget to restore and compensate the loss of fluid.
In order to achieve desirable results it is of course of big importance that we also have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with goal driven awareness. Depending on the ambition and the individual, the recommendations of course vary, but we should always strive to eat as clean food as possible and preferably organically produced. Prioritize fish (contains omega-3), vegetables, and berries that provides us with vitamins and antioxidants, and carbohydrate sources with low GI value as these give us a slow and prolonged increase in blood sugar instead of any shocking boosts. Also aim to consume about 2 g protein / kg body weight per day if the goal is muscle growth. The fiber intake should be around 25-35 g per day.
The conclusion here is that before and after exercise the body is in need of rapidly supplied and easily absorbed energy, while we the rest of the day should focus on foods that take a longer time to digest, especially to keep our blood sugar in check.
Getting yourself in shape is not done overnight. It takes perseverance, dedication and time - just how much time depends on you and your habits. You might be aiming to improve your physical shape a little faster than normal if you have an event coming up or you can feel the summer just around the corner. Like with almost everything in life, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. No half measures, no short cuts, no extreme fad diets and no four-hour gym sessions. If you want to get in shape fast and stay fit over the long-term, it’s worth forming the correct habits now, so you can take a new recipe for fitness forward with you.
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