When you add working out into your weekly routine, it is hard to determine when you should consume a nutrition bar or just eat a real food meal. There are many good reasons to choose one over the other, but sometimes there are advantages, depending on the time of day, situation, and where you plan to work out. There is also the choice between the types of nutrition bars, as there are many.
When Eating a Full Meal Is Best
If you plan to work out close to home, it is often better to eat a meal 30 to 40 minutes before your workout. Your meal should be well balanced and not too large. You want to eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed or sluggish. When planning the meal, ensure you have the ability to start working out shortly after the meal.
What to Eat
This meal should be a balanced one, with high carbs, a medium amount of protein, a small amount of fat, and low in fiber. The carbs will feed the brain and muscles before the workout, which also gives you energy. Protein also gives you energy and makes you feel full during the duration of the workout. Protein is good for the muscles to preemptively prepare the muscles before the workout. Fat is another form of energy for the body. Though low fat is on the lips of most dieters, eating healthy fats that are in some oils (such as olive oil) and nuts is part of a balanced diet. When considering your meal, plan to consume something with 8 grams of fat or less. When choosing your meal, try avoid fiber as it slows digestion and can cause digestive upset during your workout.
When Eating a Nutrition Bar Is Best
If you have little time and have to rush from one place to another in a hurry, you are better off eating a nutrition bar before working out. This way, you can eat the bar on the way to the gym, without taking time away from your workout. Many gyms also sell nutrition bars inside, so, if you are really in a rush, you can buy one there and then head straight to your fitness machine of choice.
What Type of Nutrition Bar to Choose Pre-Workout
Because working out takes energy, you will want a bar high in carbs. Most bodybuilding forums recommend between 20 and 50 grams of carbs prior to a workout. Carbohydrates are essential for fueling your workout and preventing muscle breakdown (catabolism) during strenuous workouts. Also be sure to get high quality protein, paired with very little fat. A macro-nutrient breakdown of roughly 40/30/30 (carbs/protein/fat) works great, like a Promax Original bar. Plan to eat your nutrition bar 20 to 40 minutes before your workout for the best results.
Post Workout: Food or Protein Bar
Post workout calls for protein paired with fast digesting carbs. The protein helps your muscles recover and heal. This is very important when it comes to building muscles and possibly preventing muscle soreness. Because your body benefits from the protein right away, you really should have your post workout meal within 10 minutes of the end of your workout. In many cases, this is too soon to eat a real food meal, so eating a protein bar makes a lot more sense.
For more information on our delicious, healthy bars, contact us at Promax.