Have you ever wondered why you can easily crush your workout some days, while other days you have no energy to spare? It could be related to what and when you eat it before bodybuilding. In fact, the question of what and when to eat to support a training program is one of the most common questions we get from 8fit members, so we’re telling you how food can impact your fitness. your performance.
Pre-workout meal: Timing isn’t everything
Can you get better results if you eat at certain times? Generally speaking, nutrient timing (eating certain nutrients in certain amounts at a certain time) is not as important as your overall calorie intake and the quality of your diet. That said, it all depends on your goals. If you’re trying to lose weight and aren’t spending hours at the gym every day (hope you don’t!), you don’t need to worry about pre- and post-workout fuel. Instead, focus on eating well throughout the day, and watch portion sizes. Simply eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at regular times, and exercise when it suits you best. It’s pretty easy, right?
On the other hand, if you do long or very intense workouts, or if your goal is to gain muscle mass, eating before and after training becomes more important. Proper nutrition and good timing will help prevent muscle loss, shorten your recovery time and give you extra energy.
To load up on carbs or not to load up on carbs?
If you’re striving to achieve specific training goals, you need to fuel your workouts accordingly with the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, before and after training. The key to finding this balance is to keep in mind that these three macronutrients are metabolized differently, they are all absorbed by the body at a different rate.
Carbohydrates provide the fastest energy: simple, sugary carbohydrates are absorbed the fastest, while healthy complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains or vegetables, take longer. Proteins are absorbed second, while fats take the longest to digest. Most foods contain a combination of different macronutrients, so digestion time depends on the ratio. To get optimal energy levels during your workout, focus on carbohydrates and protein while limiting fat.
Follow the flow of H2O
Proper hydration is essential for everyone, but especially for those who exercise: not drinking enough water has been shown to decrease performance. Men should aim for around three liters a day, and women around 2.2 liters, but consider your activity level and external factors like the environment – if you’re hot and sweaty, increase your intake. As for other drinks designed for “sport”? Most of us don’t need to waste money on expensive, sugary sports drinks. If you do intense workouts that last longer than 60 minutes, you might consider refilling yourself with an isotonic drink, but you can easily make your own.
The bar (protein)
If you’re wondering if you need a protein bar or shake to supplement your workout, the answer is simple: no. The marketing gurus do a great job of tricking us into thinking we need protein or energy bars to achieve our goals, but a balanced diet based on real, whole foods provides everything you need.
Protein bars tend to be heavily processed and high in sugar or artificial ingredients. Energy bars or track mixes are also not an ideal pre-workout snack, even if they only contain natural ingredients like nuts. Remember that high-fat foods like nuts are slow to digest and your body cannot immediately use them as fuel. An energy bar can even cause you to lose energy during your training session: if you eat one too soon before, your energy is needed for digestion.
But first, the coffee
According to science, moderate caffeine consumption (up to about three cups of coffee a day) is unlikely to have a negative impact on your health, and may decrease fatigue while increasing mental alertness. That said, everyone tolerates caffeine differently, so always listen to your body. If you have no health problems, you can try consuming a cup of coffee or green tea 15 to 30 minutes before exercising; research has shown that caffeine can improve athletic performance.