Pop Quiz: Which exerciser are you?
- The Under-prepared: You almost never have energy for your workouts
- The Depletion Expert: Post workout you get home and eat every food in your line of vision due to ravenous hunger
- The Over Achiever: Your workouts are long and you often hit a wall that you can’t seem to break
If any of these describe you, you might want to look at the foods you are eating around your workouts.
The Under-prepared should eat before!
You are low in energy because you don’t have enough food in your body. Three to four hours before intense exercise or competition you want to eat about 1-2g of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight (weight in kilograms is your body weight divided by 2.2 – Ex: 160lbs/2.2 = 72.7kg) and 0.15-0.25g protein per kilogram body weight depending on the intensity and type of training. If you are doing more heavy lifting and less aerobic activity you would go higher on the protein and lower on the carbohydrate, but if you are doing more endurance aerobic or strength training you would go higher on the carbohydrate and lower on the protein.
The Depletion Expert will should plan an after workout snack!
After your workout a mixture of carbohydrate and protein at a 3:1 ratio is optimal to increase strength, improve lean tissue, and decrease body fat percentage. Aim for about 6-20g of protein with 30-40g of carbohydrates. Eating within 30 min post exercise shows the best results, but eating within at least 3 hours after exercise can significantly stimulate muscle synthesis.
The Over Achiever exercises for long enough they need refueling!
You hit a wall. Your body doesn’t have the energy to go anymore. Why? Because after about 60 min of exercise you need some refuel. Your glycogen stores are depleted and you need carbohydrates. For every hour past that first 60 min, 30-60g of carbohydrates is needed to replete your body. It would be best to get these carbohydrates in liquid form (1 bottle of Gatorade has about 55g of carbohydrates). This will increase your glycogen stores and therefore sustain your energy, offset muscle damage, and increase results from prolonged periods of resistance training.
***While tailoring your nutrition around your workouts can help bring better results, eating a healthy diet regularly is going to be the most effective way to have the best results with exercise.