Refueling after a workout is important for muscle growth and recovery. You can achieve this with a protein bar built for your goals, a real food meal, or a protein smoothie. The type of food you eat is not as important as the nutrition of that food or the timing. There are three critical things to consider when strategizing your meal: timing, macronutrient breakdown, and food source. If you time your post-workout meals appropriately and eat the right foods, you’ll see optimal results from your fitness efforts.
- The timing of your post-workout meal is very important. You need to eat right away after a workout in order to refuel muscle and stimulate adaptation. In most cases, the timing of your post-workout meal will dictate the type of food available. This is why keeping protein bars on standby is important.
- The nutrition of the post-workout meal is as important as the timing. Most nutrition experts recommend a meal with a combination of carbs and protein and very little fat. The protein is essential for building new muscle, which in turn causes the body to burn more calories at rest. This raises the metabolism. The carbs in the recovery meal are important to refill glycogen in your muscles and liver. The post-workout meal should be low in fat. It has to be able to be digested quickly, whereas foods high in fat sit in the stomach and intestines for a longer time. When choosing your meal, make sure it has at least 20 to 25 grams of protein for women, and 30 to 45 grams for men.
- The type of food you choose depends on where and how you are working out. If you’re at the gym, having a nutritious post-workout smoothie is a great option. However, you must make sure that it has little to no fat in it. This might be hard to do when purchasing a smoothie from a vendor. Another option is to choose a protein bar that is right for your needs. You can choose to eat a real food meal, especially if you work out at home. Foods high in protein include chicken, turkey, lean red meats, eggs, dairy and tofu or tempeh..
- Meals that come after the post-workout meal should go back to your normal, balanced diet. It is important to make sure that you are eating enough carbs and fats in your diet. Fats are essential to a healthy diet. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, fats protect against insulin resistance and give the body energy. Therefore, you should make sure your diet contains a balance of healthy fats, carbs, protein, and vitamins.
Following these steps will help you to build muscle effectively after workouts. Over time, you will notice that you have more energy, have a lower body fat percentage, and have a higher metabolism. This means that you will burn calories faster if weight loss is a goal.. Adjust the number of calories you eat each day to make sure you are supporting your nutrition and activity needs. .
For more information on proper nutrition post-workout, contact us at Promax Nutrition.
Photo courtesy of Avery Watts @ flickr.com
Your muscles need proper fuel in order to improve size, strength and function, which means you need to choose the correct type of protein bars and food, pre- and post-workout. The more intense the workout, the more strategic you need to be regarding nutrition in order to maximize your time in the gym. Two main nutrients play a part in this process: carbs and protein. Both are required for your body, and muscles, to function properly. In addition, you should make sure to get a good mix of other vitamins and minerals, as well.
- Eat one to two meals prior to working out. This ensures your body has the fuel it needs to complete the workout. Women should include 20 to 30 grams of complex carbs paired with 15 to 20 grams of protein. Men should include 30 to 40 grams of complex carbs and 25 to 30 grams of protein. The best foods to include are lean proteins, vegetables, sweet potatoes, grains, beans, or dark colored berries.
- Taking protein prior to a workout will ensure that you protect your hard-earned muscle during your workout.. You can incorporate a protein powder in a shake or smoothie, or you can opt for a protein bar. If you are unable to eat a real food meal, this is a great option to fuel your workout. Be sure to combine some faster digesting carbs with your protein shake, and check the macronutrient content on your protein bar.
- Post-workout meal planning is very important for optimal muscle growth. Here too, your meal should consist of both protein and complex carbs. The meal should include slightly more carbs than protein and very little fat. Men will need 30 to 45 grams of protein and women should aim for 20 to 25 grams.
- Fats are essential to a balanced diet, and are actually good for you in moderation. However, try to avoid them during the post-workout period. Consuming fats after working out can cause food to sit in the stomach and intestines, forcing your body to absorb the carbs instead of storing them.
- Another important factor in your pre- and post-workout meals is timing. You should consume the pre-workout meal 30 to 60 minutes before working out to ensure digestion. Eating too soon before a workout can cause digestive upset, and eating too far before a workout will result in ineffective fueling. Post-workout, you should eat immediately. Many experts recommend consuming a protein bar before exercise and a fast digesting protein smoothie after.
Ensuring that you eat properly before and after a workout can help you to see the results of your hard work much faster. Timing, and ensuring you reach the optimal amount of protein and carbs is essential to success. High intensity workouts demand higher carbohydrate fueling. Around your workouts is the time to forgo a low-carb diet. To maximize energy, recovery and results, carbs are critical. This is why it is essential to balance your protein and carb intake, as opposed to limiting carbs. Another benefit of pre- and post-workout meals is that you have a variety of foods to choose from. You can choose to have nutrition bars and smoothies, or you could eat whole foods.
For more information on proper nutrition before and after working out, contact us at Promax Nutrition.
1. WAKE UP EARLY! I love getting my workout over with before I have time to talk myself out of it, before it gets too hot, before my busy life decides to take over! Starting your day with a quick workout is a fantastic boost because of all the endorphins you are sending to your brain are screaming “Hey! Wake up! Let’s have an awesome day today!”
2. DRINK LOTS OF WATER AND FUEL UP, PRE- AND POST-WORKOUT! Drinking a large (8-16 ounce) glass of chilled water first thing in the morning is a great way to get your metabolism burning and helps purify your internal system. This helps your body absorb nutrients easier AND makes your skin glow! Also, make sure you are consuming the adequate amount of protein and carbs pre- and post-workout to get the most out of your sweat session. I always have half of a Promax LS bar before a workout and half, after.
3. CHANGE UP YOUR WORKOUTS! Take advantage of the summer by going on new hikes, kayaking on lakes you’ve never visited, or taking your bike or inline skates out on an adventure. Changing up your workouts will remind you that working out should be fun and will keep you from getting bored.
Working out — it is something that we all should be doing in order to live long and healthy lives. Unfortunately, many people do not work out enough. Others simply do not do a workout at all. Still others work out, but they aren’t working out in the manner that is best. For instance, they may be trying to lift too much, instead of starting slow and gradually progressing up in weight.. Promax is here to help you get the most out of your next workout because, let’s face it, our effective protein bars can fuel your workout, but they can’t do the workout for you!.
Make a Workout Work for You
Before we get into the tips for making your workout work for you, the first thing you have to do is come up with a workout plan. You may need a trainer to help you get started, but the important thing is that have a plan of attack that will help you to achieve your desired goals. Give yourself a pat on the back for taking action towards a long, healthy life, and strategize a game plan! Here are some ways to get more from your workout:
– Wear the right shoes. You may think that a pair of running shoes is perfect for every type of workout. You would be wrong. Running shoes are just that — made for running. So, if running is your workout of choice, or if it is a part of your overall workout plan, make sure you wear running shoes. Cross trainers are fine for lifting weights when you are at the gym, but these kinds of shoes are heavier than running shoes, and they don’t offer the same amount of support and cushioning. Choose running shoes for runs longer than 2 miles, choose Training shoes for your gym floor and boot camp workouts and for interval running.
– Know when to replace your shoes. Speaking of shoes, the average person can get about 400 miles out of a pair of running shoes. If you are on the heavier side, you can expect to get fewer miles before the midsoles have become too worn. Know exactly when you started using your shoes, then keep a running estimate of how many miles the shoes have. When you reach about 400 miles, it is time to buy shoes to ensure that your feet are always properly supported. Even if you don’t ever reach 400 miles, the man made materials of athletic shoes break down over time simply by being exposed to air. If your shoes are older than 6 months – irrespective of usage time – it’s time to spoil yourself with a new pair!
– Be consistent. Just like you had to choose a workout plan, you need to choose a time when working out will fit into your schedule. Research is conflicting; some suggest morning workouts when cortisol is high, and some suggest evening workouts to alleviate the stress from the day. Sometimes it’s just hard to arrange your workout at a convenient time. Therefore, the best time of day to work out is the time of day that you’ll actually do it! However, as long as you are getting off the couch and moving on a regular basis, the timing doesn’t really matter. Create a workout schedule that gives you the right amount of exercise at the time of day that is best for your busy schedule.
– Make sure you warm up before working out. This doesn’t necessarily mean stretching. What you want to do is get your body to a higher intensity level than when it is resting — but not as high as when you are working out. The name “warm up” is really misnomer. The goal of a warm up is to prepare your body metabolically for your workout. Take 10 minutes and gradually increase your heart rate through movement drills, walking or jogging around the block, or hoping on a piece of cardio equipment.
Contact us today at Promax to learn more about working out, fueling your body, and how our delicious, protein bars can be a great addition to your healthy lifestyle.
Photo courtesy of Nathan Rupert@flickr.com
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