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What To Eat Before, During, And After A Workout

by Marine Le Sager September 25, 2019

The Best Pre-Workout, During-Workout, and Post-Workout Food For Muscle Gain and Great Recovery!

Train Hard, Play Hard

Do you wonder what you should eat before or after a workout session?

This seems to be a very easy question, however, the matter has to be taken seriously. If you want to give the best aliments to your body for muscle gain and recovery, there are some rules to follow. As a matter of fact, did you know that there are foods that can hinder your workout? And some that can optimize your training?

This blog post gives you an overview of what you should consume. Keep reading if you want to clear up any doubts you have regarding this subject!


Stay Hydrated

Stay Hidrated

Before talking about food, it is crucial to prioritize hydration. Water is vital for our body to operate properly and to make all its physiological and biochemical functions work in order to keep us alive.

When it concerns physical activity, we have to emphasize that hydration rules our sport's performances. A couple of athletes even died from dehydration! Not to scare you, but you have to be aware that drinking sufficient amount of water while you exercise (or when your body is at rest) is essential.

The American College of Sports Medicine makes the following recommendation:

  • Consume 2 to 3 cups (473 to 710 ml) of water, 2 to 3 hours pre-workout.
  • Drink ½ to 1 cup (118 to 237 ml) of water every 15 to 20 minutes during the physical activity, taking into account the outside temperature and your body's characteristics (height and weight).
  • Consume 2 to 3 cups (473 to 710 ml) of water post-workout.
When exercising, you are losing a lot of body fluids, and water really is the best aliment you can give to your body in order to recover.

However, if you train more than 60 minutes, it is important that you use an isotonic drink with electrolytes. This beverage helps the recovery of mineral electrolytes when practicing a sport or physical activity for long periods of time and/or in places of great heat.

 

Protein Powder shake: pre or post-workout?

Alexa

There nothing such as a guideline, but taking protein powder 30 minutes before your training is excellent if you plan to eat a full meal afterward.
Some people also like to eat pre and post-workout. If you are one of this person, taking a product like Falcon protein shake is also excellent for you. Although, research studies recommend to consume amino acids before training in order to have energy during the physical activity.

But there is no golden rule. Taking protein powder pre or post-workout really depends on your daily routine and your goals. What really matters is to recover your muscles in protein supply, as you lose this nutrient while working out.

Moreover, when we start ingesting food after exercise, our body begins to produce growth hormones, which is the key to build muscle mass. This is why we recommend you to give your body some high protein foods to refill all the muscle tissues.

Protein powders help us a lot to have a sufficient daily protein intake and promote the increase in muscle mass. They usually contain isolated amino acids, which means that they are easier to digest than the proteins coming from animals.
There have different levels of absorption:

  • The long absorption is recommended to take before training,
  • Medium and fast absorptions are recommended to take during training in small amounts

Anabolic Window

Anabolic Window

Have you already heard about this concept without knowing what is was? Let me explain it to you. 

Anabolic window refers to the limited period of time after a training session, in which it is necessary to consume protein and carbohydrate, in order to optimize muscle recovery.

Therefore, the amount of protein an athlete should consume is between 0.4 and 0.5 grams per kilo of weight, between pre, and post-workout. Furthermore, the right amount of essentials amino fatty acids should be between 6 and 10 grams for optimized muscle recovery.
Be sure to consume the nutrients mentioned above, maximum 1h30min after your training to optimize your recovery and muscle anabolism.

 

What You Should Avoid Eating Before Exercising

No Saturated Fat and Processed Sugar Eww 

You should avoid eating large amounts of sugars and carbohydrates before your workout, as these affect your athletic performance. It is better to eat healthy fats and protein foods for better energy. Although it really depends a lot on the physical activity you practice and your goals.

Wait at least 30 minutes to eat your meal after your workout. A fruit after training could help restore the lost glycogen and gives you energy.

 

The Best Food for Muscles Recovery

Yummy Plant-based Food

When it comes to eating healthy, there are some very simple tips that you can follow.

Try to cook your protein in healthier ways such as steaming or grilling, avoid frying them or overcooking them.
Don't hesitate to consume seeds and nuts! They contain many healthy fats that give us energy. If you are wondering which seeds are the most nutritious, check out our blogpost The 6 Must-have Seeds In Your Kitchen
As for carbohydrates, eat fruits! They are a great and natural source of glucose and above all, they are nutritious! Prefer complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal pasta or brown rice, and when you eat cereals, combine with them with vegetables. 
Eat your veggies! Have a large plate of steamed vegetables, which cover almost half of your meal, with some leguminous plants.

But avoid at all cost processed food!!! The more organic and natural your food will be, the best your physical recovery will be!! Always prefer homemade food. If you don't know what to cook, you should definitely check our 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan that will give you ideas for home cooking!

 

Wrapping Up

To improve the effectiveness of your training, the key is to focus on both exercising and diet.
Eat healthy before and after a workout, and stay hydrated! You will ensure optimal recovery and maintain a healthy condition.

If you have a specific physical condition or if you are curious to know more, make an appointment with a Health professional who knows about sports. 

As always, we hope that this article will help you to lead a healthier lifestyle. Remember that you can find more articles about fitness, as well as recipes by exploring our Birdman Blog.

 

Get Falcon Protein

Sources

  1. Schoenfeld, B. J., & Aragon, A. A. (2018). How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition15(1), 10.

  2. Huarte Prieto, J., & Yanci Irigoyen, J. (2016). ANÁLISIS DEL COMPORTAMIENTO DE LA VENTANA ANABÓLICA EN PERSONAS FÍSICAMENTE ACTIVAS: REVISIÓN BIBLIOGRÁFICA. MHSalud13(1).

  3. Antonio, J., & Ciccone, V. (2013). The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition10(1), 36.

  4. Outlaw, J. J., Wilborn, C. D., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Hayward, S. E., Urbina, S. L., Taylor, L. W., & Foster, C. A. (2014). Effects of a pre-and post-workout protein-carbohydrate supplement in trained CrossFit individuals. Springerplus3(1), 369.

  5. Deutz, N. E., & Wolfe, R. R. (2013). Is there a maximal anabolic response to protein intake with a meal?. Clinical nutrition32(2), 309-313.




Marine Le Sager
Marine Le Sager

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