Saturday, February 10, 2018

Should I eat Before My Workout?

The question that puzzles many people about whether or not to eat before workout? 




Yes, definitely you should; at least have a snack if you are not planning to have a meal a minimum of one hour before training. Doing cardio on an empty stomach for maximum fat loss is another common myth...  A BIG FAT LIE. 




Following these methods will actually cause your body to burn muscle tissue in order to supply you with energy instead of burning fat. Your body needs a certain amount of glucose to fuel while training. Think about a car, would a car be running without fuel? That’s exactly how our bodies work. You need to fuel and replenish every two to three hours in order to function properly. Your pre-workout meal should be something that is easy to digest.




The last thing you want to do is to eat a bunch of proteins and fats (large quantities), even if they are healthy fats and proteins. These types of fuels take a long time to digest and draw precious oxygen and energy-delivering blood into your stomach and away from your exercising muscles. They also may be heavy on your digestive system as well as causing you stomachaches during your exercise. Your best bet is to consume your pre-workout meal about two hours before exercise; it should be around 300-500 calories, and is composed primarily of healthy carbohydrates (Complex carbs). If you didnt have the chance to do so, opt for a quick 50-100 calorie snack 5-10 minutes prior to exercise. Try a bowl of oatmeal, whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat toast, sweet potato or yam as a preworkout meal eaten two hours before your workout. If you have to eat directly before your workout, a small piece of fruit—like an apple or banana will do. 


What you eat after cardio and after weight training workouts are not always the same. Weight training is more towards muscle gain, while cardio is mostly used for fat loss. When doing weight training, muscle glycogen starts depleting, and as mentioned before, muscle tissue starts to break down. So our main goal is to replenish muscle glycogen stores and starts rebuilding muscles. 


Carbohydrate is the main macronutrient that needs to be replenished in your post workout meal. There is a window of time about 20-60 minutes after you exercise in which your muscles accept the carbohydrates and protein that you consume, absorb them to be stored as energy, and build blocks for recovery. If you wait too long to eat after exercising, your body will not use what you eat for fuel and recovery. So basically after a weight lifting session you want to have your complex carbs and proteins; something like brown rice and a chicken breast, or a protein shake with half a banana whichever one that suits you more. On the other hand if you are doing cardio and your main goal is to lose fat then cutting out carbs and focusing on proteins and healthy fats will be best for you. During a typical cardio session, your body’s biochemistry undergoes some changes. your body suppresses insulin production and starts releasing other hormones like growth hormone (GH) and testosterone. Not only that, but your body releases several neurotransmitters like adrenaline, epinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. 




The first two assist with fat mobilization, while the last three are feel good chemicals. So, to stay on the fat burning mode, a protein shake (whey protein isolate) mixed with omega 3 fatty acids would be a great option; some salmon and mixed veggies will also do the job; try grilled chicken salad with veggies topped with some nuts. As long as you consume lean proteins, some greens, and healthy fats, you will be good to go. Keep in mind that everyone is different and your exercise goals may be different than someone else’s goals. So whether your target is to build muscles or shred some fats, your magic keys  are time frames and types of food after different workouts.


By: Noura Kassaballa

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