Your workout meals are the most important of the day, so it’s essential to pay attention to what you consume during the hours around your training. If not you could find yourself low on energy, low on motivation, and you could be making wasting your time in the gym.
Preparing your body for exercise means more than just warming up and stretching. It also means making sure it has what it needs to sustain you while you train. Your last meal should be about 2 hours before and consist of complex, low GI carbohydrates such as oats, plus a protein in the form of chicken or shake. This slow-release source of energy will give you a steady level of blood sugar as well as serotonin, which will help put you in the mood to train hard.
Most people know that it’s important to drink sufficient fluids while exercising, whether you’re doing cardio or lifting weights. But the same also applies to fuelling your muscles. Even with a good pre-workout meal your energy stores (glycogen) will be depleted long before you complete your training and your performance will suffer. To avoid this you need some simple, high GI carbohydrates. The cheapest and simplest source is sugar, in the form of dextrose, which you can buy very cheaply online. The amount to have is 0.8g per kilo of body weight, which as you’ll realise when you make it is a lot, but it’s exactly what your muscles need to fuel them through the rest of your workout.
Your post-workout meal should be consumed as soon as you finish your training and consist of more protein and carbohydrates to allow your body to refuel, repair and grow. The easiest way to do this is another serving of dextrose and protein shake, but if you’d rather have a meal then choose something similar to chicken or fish and white rice.
Overall your workout meals should look like this:
Two hours before training: carbs + protein
During workout: Dextrose
After workout: carbs + protein
As part of your overall diet, your next meal should be within 3 hours and contain all food groups, with the carbohydrates being as low GI as possible such as brown rice or lentils. The only time you should be having the high GI sugars or protein shakes is in your workout meals.
Follow this simple guide and you’ll notice an improvement in your performance as well as your growth.
As always, any questions or feedback leave a comment below.