“I work out 5 times a week and eat well but I am not getting the results I want.” Does this sound like you? As a Coach at Fitness Quest 10 (www.FitnessQuest10.com) in San Diego, people come to me everyday looking for answers as to why they are not getting the results they strive to achieve. How do I get stronger? What should I be eating? How do I lose fat? I will answer all of these questions each week and reveal the Top 10 Questions About Health and Fitness.
Question 1: What Should I Eat Before And After A Workout?
This is one of the most popular questions I get asked by clients and athlets. We have all heard the saying “You are what you eat.” Whenever you are looking to lose weight, gain weight, gain muscle or just maintain yourself, nutrition is 70% of the game. What you eat before you workout is crucial for feeling your best and supplying your body with fuel so that you can optimize your time in the gym.
Think of your body going through a workout as a car being put through a long road trip. All the lights and excitement of going to Las Vegas is a car ride away. You want to make sure the car is ready to get you to your destination.
Pre-exercise meals are crucial for the vigorous stress your muscles are about to be put through. They are going to give you the fuel your body needs to workout out. Think of it as gas that your put in your car right before the road trip you are going on. Driving to Vegas on an empty tank isn’t very. Same principle goes for your pre-exercise meal. If you do not eat the correct food before your workout, you will not be able to put in maximum effort and your results will be an illusion. A pre-exercise meal is something each individual needs to figure out, typically by way of trial and error. But as a general rule of thumb, you want to eat foods that are in the higher end of the glycemic index. Try some kind of tropical fruit, cereal, or bread. Notice how it affects your workout and adjust accordingly. If you feel you need more energy, try eating another serving. If you feel bogged down and full, eat less or try a different type of food. Experiment with it to see what works for you.
After your road trip to Sin City, you probably fee like it is time to go home and recover from your adventure. Your body wants the same things after a workout. But instead of reaching for ADVIL to cure your head ache, reach for fuel to cure your muscles.
Post-exercise meals are crucial because you just put your body through vigorous stress and your muscles have broken been down. Those muscles need fuel to repair themselves which then makes the muscle stronger. But what to eat?
You need to make sure that you are getting some food in your body within 20 minutes after your workout. Eating 100-200 grams of carbohydrates helps rebuild adequate glyocen to store in your muscles. As far as protein goes, there needs to be a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein when you eat your post-exercise meal. Eating too much protein has a negative impact and slows down re-hydration and glycogen replenishment. Try a recovery drink or chocolate milk. That’s right CHOCOLATE MILK! The right combination of chocolate and milk provides the perfect amount and ration of carbohydrates and protein to help replenish your system.
The destination is one filled with lights, fame, and riches. But the path of success comes with hard work. And if you want to get the results you desire make sure your get the right nutrition before and after your workout.
By: Tom Cox
Tom Cox is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA. He is C.S.C.S and is an ACE certified Personal Trainer. Tom got his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in fitness and wellness from Chico State University and continues to further his education. He specializes in athletic performance, strength training, weight loss, and total body functional training. Tom loves motivating and inspiring people to reach their personal and fitness goals.