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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Workout Nutrition - Pre Exercise and Post Exercise Meals

One of the popular questions I see on message boards and get in person or via emails is about pre- and post- exercise nourishment. Confusion seems to lie between carbs or protein, which do you have when?
The answer is not straight forward because it really is all relative to the needs of the exerciser. There are a variable of replies to this question depending on your fitness goals and present fitness level. Step one is to identify what you are working toward first then you can figure out your pre and post workout needs.
Some of the common goals that people are seeking when working out are fat loss, gaining mass or maintenance.
Those who are seeking fat loss fall into two categories:
  • Person A - the fit person who is working for a smaller loss in pounds
  • Person B - the heavier person who is seeking maximum results with higher amounts of fat loss.
The pre and post workout suggestion would differ between each of these individuals like so:
  • Person A - would have a pre-workout protein shake with essential fatty acids (Udos Oil or flax seed oil) and low in carbs. If you are the type whose tummy cannot take liquids pre-workout or if you feel that is too much to ingest then two egg whites and one whole egg will also do the trick. Post workout, depending on the time of day it falls at, is a great time for a meal made up of a balanced breakdown of healthy carbs, lean proteins and essential fats. Of course produce such as fibrous greens are included in the healthy carb category. If a meal is not possible then a protein shake made up of protein powder with frozen fruit and flax seed oil or peanut butter and banana is ideal.
  • Person B - would most likely go on an empty stomach, if there was a meal which occurred prior to training then that is fine otherwise I would not worry about a pre-workout meal. Best is to go first thing in the morning before breakfast on an empty stomach then once done you would eat breakfast of oatmeal and eggs with a grapefruit.
For those who wish to gain mass then you would want a pre-workout protein such as chicken, fish, or a protein shake and almonds. Of course you want to give it at least a half of an hour before training after you eat.
Again a meal after training is ideal but a post workout shake made with protein or an mrp (meal replacement powder), banana, peanut or almond butter, milk and oats would be excellent and can replace a lunch, breakfast or snack.
Those of you who are maintaining will do well with a plain protein shake pre-workout and half of a banana for a burst of energy. A meal is ideal post workout, have I said that yet?? If you do not want a meal post workout or don't time it that way then you will want to make sure to get some complex carbs and protein into your system.
All of my workout plans come with complete with a diet plan and I will definitely help you incorporate your pre- and post- workout diets in your plan. Just let me know what you want to work on and we'll work it out together.

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