Your pre and post workout meal is all about the same thing. Increase muscle growth, don’t crash and burn, and protect your hard-earned muscle. That’s why you work out, whether you know it or not ( maybe unless you are a runner, in that case I don’t know why you work out but bless the fact that you can run for days, I cannot).
I’ll keep this very simple at its most basic form. Before a workout you want carbs and a tiny bit of protein. Stay away from too many fats because they take the longest to digest. For your carbs, you want something that is low glycemic like oats or nuts. We want that to release slowly to help you power through a long, hard workout. For example I am a 185 lb. male so 500-600 calories of carbs and protein about 3 hours before a workout should be good for me. I find that I tend to need more food closer to my workouts, but that is just me. Everyone is different. So if you are like me, a pre workout snack may be what you need just before you hit the weights.
Sometimes life is not so easy and time restraints apply, so here are some guidelines: If you eat 3 hours before a workout you may be able to consume 500 calories, but if it’s 30 minutes before a workout, you may want to choose half a banana and only 100 calories. Potassium does not store in the body for very long so eat that banana 30 minutes before a workout and maybe a little Greek yogurt and get out there fast.
Your post workout meal should consist of Carbs and protein. Generally, you want to make sure you eat within the first 45 minutes post workout. After that, eating again in an hour helps out a ton as well. Again, this article is not designed to tell you how many calories you should eat as that depends on your goals, how much you worked out and some other odds and ends. This meal does not have to be a large meal at all. I use a protein shake, however I prefer people get their protein through food. For me, I don’t generally want to eat a solid and protein powder gets right to the point. I generally eat some Yams after or a piece of Ezekiel bread with some almond butter on it. But, many of you will want something much tastier and, if you are up for cooking a nice meal with chicken, rice, and broccoli, then more power to you.
Here’s the story. During your workout, your body breaks down muscle glycogen and protein, and our job is to repair them. That is where the growth and strength comes from. Not the actual exercise itself. So, carbs are good for the insulin release, which we need for bringing carbs and amino acids to the muscles which we have since lost. Then the protein for repair. Easy, right? Great! Now make sure you are eating after your workouts and do not miss that meal. A general rule of thumb for protein intake is 20-40 grams and you may have to play around with that to see what is best for you and your goals.
BONUS: Watch and get FREE Tips of Pre and Post Workout Meals from Fast Twitch Owner, Dennis Angelina
Dennis Top Tips for Pre and Post Workout Meals
- Make sure you eat before your workout and drink water
- Pre workout is Carb heavy on the portion and lighter on the protein
- Your calories pre workout are dictated by how soon you are to workout after eating
Post workout eat more protein with carbs within a 45 minute window after your workout