Proper nutrition

Everything You Need to Know About Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

When exercising regularly at home or in the gym, the question of nutrition before and after training inevitably arises. What, when and how much can you eat after exercise to lose weight and make your body slim?

First of all, you need to know that you will only lose weight if you consume more calories daily than you consume… If you follow this basic principle of losing weight, you will get rid of excess weight, even if you do not follow the rules of what is before and after training. However, eating well after exercise can help you optimize the fat loss and bodybuilding process.

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Pre-workout nutrition

So, first, let’s take a look at what to eat before training. This will largely depend on when you practice.

1. If you exercise in the morning on an empty stomach

Exercising in the morning on an empty stomach is one of the most popular ways to burn additional fat, although trainers around the world are still arguing about the effectiveness of this method of losing weight. The adepts of the theory of training on an empty stomach claim that at this time the reserves of glycogen in the liver are minimal, which means that your body will draw energy from your fat and, accordingly, “destroy” it. Opponents of this theory say that training time does not affect the reduction of body fat, but you can easily burn muscles with morning exercises, which, accordingly, will distance you from a beautiful toned body.

Of course, the option of training on an empty stomach is only suitable for those who work out at home or who have a gym not far from home. Because to keep the body hungry for hours (during and before training) still not very useful. But if you still choose the morning time for sports before breakfast, then you do not need to eat anything before training, although you should definitely drink water.

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When is it NOT recommended to train on an empty stomach?

  • If you are doing strength training for muscle growth.
  • If you are doing high intensity workouts (Tabata, CrossFit).
  • If you find it hard to tolerate training on an empty stomach, you feel dizzy and weak.

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2. If you exercise in the morning after a snack

What pre-workout food should you choose if you can’t work out on an empty stomach? For example, if you are doing intense training, strength training, or just uncomfortable exercising on an empty stomach. In this case, you can arrange for yourself light carbohydrate or protein-carbohydrate snack 30-45 minutes before training. This can be coffee with a banana, bread with a slice of cheese, whey protein in milk, or granola bars. (this should be a small portion of food, about 100 g)… In this case, you will have energy and strength for classes. You can even drink a glass of kefir or milk, if that’s enough for you.

Please note that this does not have to be a hearty full breakfast. The snack should be small, otherwise it will just be difficult for you to do it. In addition, intense exercise on a full stomach can lead to indigestion or even vomiting. If you prefer a full breakfast and only then train, then in this case it is better to give preference to cereals and train at least 1.5 hours after eating.

See our ready-made exercise plans for home:

3. If you exercise in the morning after breakfast, in the afternoon or in the evening

Otherwise, the best pre-workout diet is complex carbohydrates… The complex carbohydrates include, first of all, cereals. 1.5-2 hours before class, eat buckwheat, rice, oatmeal, other porridge, durum wheat pasta (if it’s lunch, then with meat or fish). If you can’t eat before training, then again the carbohydrate snack, which was mentioned in the previous paragraph, will save you. But it is advisable to plan your day so that you have a full meal with complex carbohydrates before class.

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Another pre-workout nutritional tip: Don’t eat pure protein meals before exercising. It will not give you energy and you will not be able to exercise at full strength.

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Pre-workout nutrition

Post-workout nutrition

What to eat after training? Within half an hour after training, it is necessary to close the protein-carbohydrate window, in which the body has a strong need for nutrients. Replenishing the body with proteins and carbohydrates at this point will help the body to support your muscles.

Close the anabolic window 30 minutes after exercise… It is recommended to do this with a protein-carbohydrate combination at the rate of 60 to 40. On the day of aerobic exercise, give 60% to carbohydrates, 40% to proteins. On the days of strength and aerobic-strength training, on the contrary, 60% – proteins and 40% – carbohydrates. Examples of post-workout nutrition:

  • Low-fat milk protein shake (ideally whey protein)
  • Low-fat cottage cheese with fruit
  • Omelet or eggs with crispbread
  • Lean Chicken Sandwiches

If you want to lose weight, then the calorie content of the dish should be about half the amount you spent in class… For example, exercising, you burned 500 calories. This means that within half an hour after its end, eat a protein-carbohydrate dish with an energy value of 250 kcal. Protein and carbohydrates should be combined 60/40 depending on the type of your workout. A full meal should be taken 1.5-2 hours after this intermediate post-workout meal.

If you train in the morning on an empty stomach or after a small snack, then after training it is quite acceptable to have a full breakfast in 30-45 minutes. But this option is not suitable for those who work to increase muscle mass, in this case it is better to stick to the standard option described above.

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Protein types and how to choose

What not to eat after exercise?

First, avoid fatty foods (including fatty milk and fatty cottage cheese). Fat interferes with the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream, so it is advisable to eat only low-fat foods after exercise. Secondly, you should not eat foods containing caffeinewhich inhibits the use of protein for muscle recovery.

Post-workout nutrition

By following these simple pre and post workout nutritional tips, you can improve your performance and take another step towards the body of your dreams. However, remember that the issue of nutrition before and after training is not the main issue for those who want to lose weight and tighten the body. The most important thing is nutrition throughout the day, adherence to a general calorie deficit, and a sufficient intake of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.… Therefore, you can always adjust the menu to suit your individual capabilities.

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