Nutrient Timing: Pre and Post Workout Snacks
Knowing what to eat is imperative. When to eat it? That matters too. Nutrient timing can play a critical role in muscle recovery and growth, but is often neglected or viewed as something only for bodybuilders. It’s more than just “bro-science” – knowing what to eat before and after a workout can help anyone from the recreational athlete to the hardcore competitor. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge and preparation, and you can make strides in your fitness progress just by making a few simple changes to your pre and post workout routine.
Pre-Workout: Prior to a hard workout, you want to make sure you are eating a good mix of protein, fat and carbs about 60-90 minutes before your sweat session. This will give you the energy and stamina to give it your all as you hit those weights or take on a high intensity workout. Here are a few options: Peanut butter banana protein shake Apple and a handful of almonds Protein pancakes Chicken and sweet potato sauteed in olive oil
If you don’t have time to eat 60-90 minutes before a workout, no sweat! Go for a snack that’s very low in fat, but still a good source of carbs and (if possible) protein. Fat takes a long time to digest, and we don’t want our bodies trying to digest food while we work out. That won’t end well.
Try one of these options for a quick fix when you are starving on the way to the gym: Banana and protein powder in skim milk or water Whole wheat toast with organic jelly Nonfat greek yogurt with berries
Post-workout: After a workout, it’s important to refuel your body correctly. While this doesn’t mean you have to chug a protein shake as soon as you complete your final set, this also doesn’t mean going home, getting distracted, and then finally settling down to eat 3-4 hours after your workout.
Your muscles are hungry after a workout, so if you’d like to get stronger and recover more quickly, try to consume a meal of protein and carbs 30-90 minutes after a high intensity workout or weight training session. Like we mentioned before, fat is very slow digesting. We want these nutrients to reach your muscles as quickly as possible, so we’re leaving fat out of the equation this time.
Try one of these following your next sweat sesh: Strawberry, banana and spinach protein shake Baked chicken, broccoli and brown rice Lean turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread protein oatmeal
Maximize Your Fat Loss
1. Drink a Glass of Water When you First Wake Up
There is still a lot research being done on this subject to figure out exactly why this trick works, but German researchers did a study back in 2003 that determined that test subjects drinking a 16 oz glass of near freezing water, showed a metabolic increase of about 30 % for about 10 – 50 minutes after the consumption occurred.
2. Drink Whey Protein before training
Drink a whey protein shake about 30 minutes before your strength-training workout. According to research findings published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, drinking whey protein before your workout can rev up your metabolism up to 24 hours afterward. For all your supplement needs visit www.ASD-Performance.com
3. Incorporate High-intensity interval training.
Example: alternate 60sec jogging with 30sec sprints for 15mins.
Pros & cons of HIIT cardio:
- More Efficient. Burns more fat and increases your cardiovascular fitness more than long duration cardio does.
- More Fun, Less Time Consuming. Takes only 15-20mins and is much more fun than 30-45mins long duration cardio.
- More Difficult. HIIT will make you puke if you’re a beginner with zero endurance. HIIT can also mess with your recovery.
Improve your bench press max
1. Bench press negatives
If you don’t know what a negative is, it’s the lowering phase of an exercise. In the case of the bench press, it’s lowering the weight to your chest. Negative training involves very heavy weights (up to 1.5 times your 1 rep max) and simply lowering the weight slowly down to your chest and having 2 assistants lift it back up for you. Negative training is highly underestimated and can have a dramatic effect on your upper body strength and your 1 rep max.
2. Power up your triceps
Tricep strength has an enormous impact on your bench press performance. You need to hit your triceps hard with big exercises like close grip bench press and skullcrushers. Don’t waste your time with cable machines, stick to heavy dumbbells and barbells.
3. Eat like there’s no tomorrow
If you want to get bigger and stronger you have to eat like you have the appetite of Ronnie Coleman! You should eat up to 7 meals per day and each meal should contain a good serving of protein (in various forms) and complex carbohydrates. This is essential for increasing your bench press. If you’re not eating enough calories per day, don’t expect to do any additional pounds on your bench.
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Love dessert? Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit instead of desserts that are loaded with calories, carbohydrates, and fats. Switch things up by cutting up an apple or pear, sprinkling it with cinnamon, and microwaving it for 1-2 minutes for a healthy treat. Or put a dollop (or three) of fat-free whipped cream on a bowl of strawberries. Not only will you increase your daily servings of fruit, but you’ll cut some calories, too. Talk about a win-win.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become hugely popular thanks to real results in shorter periods of time and extensive benefits. With busy schedules the norm, it’s no wonder so many clients and potential clients are now seeking out these kinds of workouts.
HIIT, which involves repeated sessions of relatively brief, intermittent exercise, usually performed at very high intensity, can be easily modified for various client needs and fitness levels. When combined with an expert nutrition program, personalized HIIT programs can elicit serious results and health benefits, including:
- Improve blood pressure and cardiovascular health
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Improved body composition
Whether you’re adding HIIT to your own personal fitness program or ramping up client results and health benefits with this style of training, it’s important to understand the nutritional needs to support it from start to finish. While nutritional needs do vary by individual and training program, these nutrition plans and meal ideas for pre- and post-workout nutrition can help.
General Nutrition to Support a H.I.I.T. Program
To get the most out of any fitness program, clients should follow a healthy meal plan in general. Effective and well-rounded nutrition programs are based on a variety of healthful ingredients such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. The best nutrition plans provide adequate calories and macronutrients such as carbohydrates to fuel the body and provide energy stores for workouts. It’s important that these are expertly created programs that prevent clients adopting a restrictive diet which may inhibit their success.
Adequate water intake is also a must to ensure complete hydration during workouts.
Pre-workout Nutrition for HIIT
Due to the intensity of these workouts, it’s vital to follow a healthy nutrition plan with adequate nutrition in the days and hours leading up to a workout. Plan on a moderate- to high-carbohydrate meal that also includes protein approximately three to four hours before a HIIT workout, and then another high-carbohydrate snack within an hour after the workout. Good options for a pre-workout meal include:
- Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and banana
- Non-fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit
- Dried fruit and almonds
Post-workout Nutrition for HIIT
The biggest nutritional concern post-workout is replacing energy stores (glycogen) and repairing muscles that have been broken down during the intense workout. Again, a combination of carbohydrates and protein has been shown to be most effective. Research shows that a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein within 30 minutes of completing a HIIT workout is best for replacing energy stores in preparation for the next high-intensity workout.
Suggestions for post-workout nutrition are similar to pre-workout meals and include:
- Whole-grain cereal with fruit and soy milk
- Whole-wheat crackers with fruit and cheese
- Hummus and pita bread
M.J. (2007). High-intensity interval training: New insights. Gatorade Sports Science Institute Sports Science Exchange, 20, 2.