You have been taking your fitness seriously: you never skip a Monday, you listen to your coach, you give 110% to your workouts and you work at least 3 times a week. Yet, for some reason, you are not seeing the results you want to see, and you don’t feel that you are getting stronger. The reason might be more related to what you do before and after the workout than what you do during it. You want to make sure that you are fueling your body for the results you wish to see.
What to eat before a workout
It is important to give your body energy to sustain the workout you are about to put it through. Working out while in a fasted state, will burn some fat, but will also burn muscle. If your goal is to burn fat and keep your muscle, avoid working out on an empty stomach. When your energy stores are running low, your workout might suffer because you won’t have enough energy to carry you the whole time.
Eating the correct things before a workout will help you avoid feeling sluggish or sick. You don’t want to eat 5 donuts before doing burpees, but you do want to give your body energy to do the burpees. For a pre-workout meal focus on carbs and protein. Fat takes longer to digest so it’s better to stick with quick energy sources. Some examples of good pre-workout snacks are: a whole fruit smoothie, protein powder mixed with apple sauce, 0% fat Greek yogurt or rice cake with turkey meat. Those options will give you enough energy to complete your workout. Aiding you in your goal to lose fat and maintain muscle.
What to eat after a workout
Once you are done with your workout, it’s time to replenish your energy stores. During the workout, your body used glycogen stores for fuel and some of your muscle got broken down or damaged. Getting nutrients after exercise can help you rebuild your muscle proteins and glycogen stores. It also helps stimulate growth of new muscle. Try to eat 30-60 minutes after your workout. Your post-workout meal will be very similar to your pre-workout one. You want to provide your body with carbs and protein. Some examples of post-workout meals are: protein powder with coconut water, a Fitaid with a protein shake, 0% fat yogurt with berries and granola, whole grain toast with almond butter or cottage cheese with fruit. Don’t forget to hydrate as well.
Don’t neglect nutrition before or after a workout, fueling your body is key to get it to do the things you want it to do. If you want more insight on how to fuel your body appropriately, ask any of the coaches at Celebration CrossFit. We will be happy to help you!