The importance of PRE & POST workout meals; Are carbohydrates bad for you?

If you are serious about training and putting all of the time and hard work in, than you definitely want to make sure you are fueling your body properly before and after your workout. Your body is a machine..just like a car can’t run without gas, we can’t run without proper nutrition.

We all know the famous phrase, “don’t judge a book by its cover” right? Yet in one way or another we still have the tendency to “’judge” even when we don’t have the true facts in front of us, right? Unfortunately, this is exactly what social media and all of these fad diets are doing to the world. That whole “carbs are bad for you” statement is completely false yet because it’s the hype in the media world, everyone believes it must be true. Well, guess what..wrong again! Not ALL carbs are bad and they should not be categorized as the same. Vegetables have carbohydrates in them as well as fruits, yet do we consider those bad for us? No. we don’t, because there are GOOD carbs and BAD ones. Carbohydrates from candy and processed foods however are the ones that may make you feel sluggish, or gain weight, or not benefit your body the way carbohydrates from wholesome nutritious foods do. Every single person’s body is different and going to react differently to what we feed it. Your carb intake should be based off of your own personal goals, whether or not you’re athletic or if you are more of a sedentary person. It should be based off of tolerance and the way they make you feel. Some people for example like myself, react better to healthier carbs in their diets. My body responds well to them, helping me get through workouts, supplying me with energy, leaving me feeling full and focused all day long. Nutrition is like a science experiment, you have to see what works best for your body and its needs. But if there is one thing I can tell you, it is to try for yourself. See what your body can tolerate and how it reacts to what you are giving it, and please DO NOT listen to everything you hear.

It’s simple, eating about 45 minutes prior to working out can increase your strength tremendously. Eating before your workout helps to increase your energy levels as well resulting in you being able to workout at a higher intensity.  Your pre workout meal should include some sort of protein and healthy carbohydrate to ensure optimal performance levels. When exercising on an empty stomach, you are doing the body more harm than you may think. You are actually breaking down muscle tissue which can negatively impact your metabolism and lead to a higher risk of injury. Most people however workout early in the morning and may not be hungry, but something as small as a piece of fruit like a banana that’s easily digested or a protein shake can help you greatly.

Eating after a workout is just as beneficial to your body as eating before. The ultimate goal after lifting is to restore the energy (glycogen levels) you lost during that workout and rebuild the muscles you just broke down. After working out, the muscles in our bodies are extremely depleted and looking for the proper supply of proteins and carbohydrates in order to start rebuilding themselves. It is best to consume your post workout meal immediately after working out, and give those muscles a refeed.  If that’s not possible, there is a small “window” ranging from 30-45 mins at the maximum. Your best bet is to take in a whey protein shake immediately after to maximize muscle recovery and sip on some BCAAS (branched chain amino acids) to maximize protein synthesis throughout the body. Nutrition is SO important, whether you are trying to maintain weight, lose, gain, bulk up.. there is a nutrition plan for everyone’s goals!

And one thing I cannot stress enough to you is to HYDRATE !! Drink plenty of water throughout the day and always make sure you know the location of the nearest bathroom ;)

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