The success of regular physical training depends not only on how many times you pulled yourself up, how much you shook, or how many kilometers you ran on a treadmill. An equally important nuance for the trainees is nutrition – the athlete’s body needs increased “doses” of useful substances, and if he does not receive them in the required amount, there can be no question of qualitative progress. Achieving the goal in this case significantly moves away, or even becomes impossible at all (for example, if you ate at the nearest McDonald’s after cardio training). Let us consider in more detail the issue of pre-workout and post-workout nutrition.
Nutrition before and after training
There are a number of nuances that are equally relevant for nutrition, both before and after training. The differences mainly depend on your goals – whether you want to lose weight, or vice versa – you want to gain muscle mass.
We list the rules that are equally suitable for both cases.
- No matter what you are training for, you must drink to make up for the fluid that is lost during exercise.
- Regardless of what you are training for – the diet should contain proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
- Do not forget about sports supplements.
- Learn more about calories, proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins – your diet should ideally be correctly calculated.
- Eating immediately prior to training is strongly discouraged. The best option is a regular serving of food 1-2 hours before class. Thus, you will provide the body with the necessary substances, and will not engage on a full stomach (which is not very useful and pleasant).
Nutrition before exercise
We highlight several subheadings in this paragraph – so that it will be easier for you to deal with such an important issue as nutrition before training.
If we’re drying
A rigid diet, which is recommended to be observed during the “drying”, must be designed so that your body receives the right amount of all substances. Therefore, we should not forget about …
… fats. On “drying” it is best to switch to vegetable, or even get them from additives – the same fish oil is perfect. Daily intake of this supplement is quite enough to provide the body with the required minimum. The rest of the intake of fats, of course, must be reduced to a minimum. This does not mean that they should be included in the diet immediately before visiting the gym – just want to once again remind them of their necessity and importance.
… carbohydrates. Naturally – difficult. No sweets: cereals, legumes, nuts, pasta, hard varieties. You can diversify the diet with fruits.
Naturally, training on an empty stomach is not a very sensible thing. As for the meal time: about 2 hours before the workout, it is advisable to eat something rich in protein (as an option when “drying” – you can just drink a glass of milk or eat boiled chicken breast). About an hour before class, you must provide the body with “fuel” – carbohydrate-containing foods. Any fruit is great.
If we are gaining mass
With mass gain, things are much simpler. In this case, you are not so limited in the number of calories and consumed substances – therefore, it will be “charged” with energy, which is enough for training, without any problems. Basically, proper nutrition before training for the “mass” is to provide the body with proteins and carbohydrates. The time of administration is the same as indicated above (proteins – in about 2 hours, carbohydrates – in an hour).
If you are an experienced athlete and weigh more than average (say, from 90 kilograms and above), a small snack during training is not superfluous. It can be a milkshake, an energy bar, or some kind of fruit. An excellent option, for example, would be oatmeal in milk, with honey, nuts and chopped bananas – such a dish will provide the “fuel” of the largest athlete.
Post Workout Nutrition
The period immediately after training (and regardless of what purpose you are doing) – 20-40 minutes – is the most favorable for eating. It is precisely at this time period that the so-called “carbohydrate window” falls — we need to replenish the energy reserves that were used up in the lesson. If this is not done, then the most unpleasant and hateful process for every athlete will begin – the catabolism of muscle fibers (it is from them that the body will take such necessary nutrients for recovery). Naturally, the consequences of this are negative.
For this reason, nutrition after training is necessary, and the faster the better. By the way, a very important nuance: during this period, you can take simple carbohydrates (energy bar or just fruit, for example). Experienced athletes do just that: they take something sweet with them for training, and immediately after leaving the gym they eat it. There is also a more useful option – a sweet cocktail containing a gainer or protein.
The same goes for proteins: the post-workout period is great for dishes with a high content. There is a widespread belief that immediately after class they are much more useful than at other times, but this is not entirely true. A protein-rich meal should definitely be the last before you go to bed.
Protein / Carbohydrate Ratio
If we talk about more accurate data – we should mention the figures given by experienced nutritionists. According to them, nutrition after training should contain a certain ratio of carbohydrates and proteins. Which one depends on the type of physical activity: during “drying” – 60/40 (%, carbohydrate / protein), with power work – on the contrary, 40/60 (%, carbohydrate / protein).
What to refrain from
Another important nuance: post-workout nutrition should contain as little fat as possible. They slow down the flow of proteins and carbohydrates from the stomach into the blood.
The same goes for caffeine – this substance negatively affects the work of insulin, slowing it down. Refrain from coffee (as well as tea and cocoa) is recommended for about two hours after training.