Post-Workout Nutrition

I can’t believe I waited so long to write this post! Back in March, I shared with you the importance of Pre-Workout Nutrition. Today, I am going to go over some things you should keep in mind when considering when & what to eat to refuel your body after your workout.

When?
As with most fitness topics, depending on which health guru you talk to you will get varying answers as to when to consume your post workout “meal”. The general consensus I have found in all my magazine reading & Googling is that the ideal time or “window of opportunity” is within 30-45 minutes of completing your workout. However, newer studies are showing that the window is a little wider, around 2 hours pre/post workout, and that your daily intake of Carbs and Protein is more important than timing itself.

I’m confused…
The bottom line is everyone is different. Our bodies all react differently to exercise & nutrition. This means unless you are a super athlete or a bodybuilder preparing for a competition the guidelines are a little more lax. So figure out what works best for you! I usually base my post workout “meal” on my schedule. If I know I am driving straight home after the gym to fix dinner, I usually don’t worry about packing anything to “eat” post workout. However, if the Hubby & I are heading to the store after our workout  I will pack a shake or something to munch on before running errands.

What to “Eat”
If you have noticed, I have been sort of loose with the terms “eat” & “meal”. This is because you don’t have to eat to ingest nutrients. Protein shakes or smoothies are considered meals in my house and if that is the easiest way for you to re-fuel, go for it! However, there are a few key ingredients (macros) you will need to contemplate.

Refuel
The first is Carbohydrates, they are needed to replace energy stores in your body that have been depleted due to your awesomeness that has just been expressed in the form of exercise. (Yuh like that, Huh?) How many Carbs you need will depend on they type of exercise you did & what your goals are, however a good rule of thumb is around 30% of your daily Carb intake. It is also a good idea to get in a mix of both simple (fast absorbing) & complex (slow absorbing) Carbs.

Build
Secondly, your body needs Protein to build & repair muscles. Luckily the guidelines for Protein are a little more specific, but again, every body is different. Men should consume between 30-45 grams of Protein, While us Ladies need between 20-25 grams.

Smarter Not Harder
Finally, you should limit your Fat intake following a workout. The main reason it is suggest to make your post workout meal Fat Free is because fat slows the digestion process. Slow digestion means slow absorption, meaning it will take longer for Carbs & Protein to be available for your body to use. So while it is important to make sure you are including Healthy Fats in your diet, try to fit them in with your other meals to make sure your body has its best chance to refuel & recover.

One of my favorite combos is a Whey Protein Shake & Banana.
What are some of your favorite post workout “meals”?

Disclaimer: In case you missed it along the way, at the moment, the information I have compiled for you is simply the product of research & personal experience. Though I plan to get a Nutrition Certification & ultimately become a Kick Bottom Health/Wellness Coach… At the moment I have no such training.  So make sure if you are planning on changing your diet/exercise routine that you talk to a professional to make sure you are doing what is best for your particular body.

References:
www.bodybuilding.com
www.precisionnutrition.com – LOVE this article! You should read it.
www.muscleandfitness.com
www.flexonline.com

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Setting Goals

http://www.freeimages.com/profile/morrhigan

Alright Ladies (& Gentlemen) it is Sunday yet again! Since everyone knows you can only start a new meal plan or exercise routine on Mondays (that is baloney, quit stalling, START NOW!) I figured today was a perfect day to plan for the week ahead. We are only a couple weeks into May and Spring is in full bloom, however, before we know it Summer will be creeping in…
The season of shorts, sleeveless shirts, & yes bathing suites. So before time gets away from us lets set some goals and show them what we are made of!

Why Set Goals?
Because that is what successful people do. Goal-setting is used by top athletes, successful business people and just about everyone else who is amazing at what they do. When you set a goal it helps you envision your future & motivates you to stay on track. By setting goals you are able to focus your time & attention on being your best. Also, as you reach goals you have set for yourself it will give you a greater sense of accomplishment & confidence.

Can You Give Me Some Examples?
Sure! As I mentioned earlier, goals work for a variety of people in different fields. You can set goals as a Mother, as a Friend, as Spouse or Employee… but of course, I would like to talk about health & fitness goals. Your goals can range from simple to long term depending on what you choose to accomplish. For instance…

>> Drinking your daily recommended amount of water.
>> Eating more raw vegetables.
>> Eating less sugar.
>> Working out 5 days a week.
>> Losing 50 pounds of body fat.
>> Being able to bench press your body weight.
>> Running a 5k.

Ok, I Have a Goal, Now What?
Now it is brainstorming & research time. What will it take to reach your goal? If you have settled on a larger or long term goal, split it up into smaller ones, this will make it easier for you to see your progress & stay on track. For example if your goal is to lose 50 pounds, set 5 and 10 pound goals along the way. Decide when and how you will track your progress. Every day, once a week… will you use a chart or app to keep you organized? Give yourself some deadlines to help keep you motivated & lastly, make sure you have a planned reward that fits the goal & does not undo hard work. For instance maybe new clothes when you reach your goal weight as opposed to treating yourself with a chocolate cake.

My current goal is to reach a healthy weight. I am proud to say that so far I have lost 38 pounds! The main things that I am focusing on to reach my goal weight are eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and exercising. This past week my co-workers and I started a weight loss challenge to encourage each other to get healthier. Below are two of the charts I am using to measure my progress during the challenge in case they might help you too.

(Click to Print) Body Measurment Chart

(Click to Print) 8 Week Progress Worksheet 


      

Ok, Your Turn…

Leave A Comment Below:
What are your goals and what are you doing to reach them?

(P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all you fantastic Mommies!)

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

Today’s post is less a recipe and more a snapshot of my meal plan. It is a quick smoothie I have been using for my first and second meals this week. If you need an easy way to get your morning protein, smoothies are a great option!

Ingredients:
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
½ Frozen Banana
2 Scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Directions:
>> Place all ingredients (except chia seeds) in the blender.
>> Blend until desired consistency.
>> Mix in Chia Seeds.
>> Drink & Enjoy!

Tip1: To save time in the mornings, I went ahead and measured out my fruit for the week.

Tip2: I split my smoothie into 2 blender bottles, that way I can mix them up again later.

I used Bob’s Red Mill Chia Seeds, Cellucor Whipped Vanilla Protein Powder, and Season’s Choice Sliced Frozen Strawberries. I split the smoothie in to two servings to cover my first and second meals for the day. Each serving is (403)Calories, (8g)Fat, (39g)Carbs, & (55g)Protein. 

If you like smoothies, what are some of your favorite ingredients?

Pre-Workout Nutrition

If you want to get the most out of your workout, it is important to have an understanding of Pre-Workout Nutrition and how it affects your body. I can tell you from experience, that if you don’t fuel your body properly before you get started, you won’t get the results you are working for. Those of you that have read my Bio know that I learned the hard way. So, if you are not keen on the whole light-headed thing & you want your body running its best, today’s post is for you!

Meal Timing

There are many different ingredients that can be beneficial to include in your Pre-Workout routine. In today’s post, I want to start with the basics which will help you get started. Both Protein and Carbohydrates are important not only to fuel your workout but to help your body recover.
Protein & Carbs

(Men you need 25-45g of Protein & 30-45g of Complex Carbohydrates)

When planning out your meals, you should choose a lean protein source (i.e. egg whites or chicken breast) and slower digesting carbohydrates (i.e. an apple or grapefruit). The best way to discern if a carbohydrate source is slow digesting is to use the Glycemic Index (GI).

Glycemic Index Range

Often used by diabetics, the Glycemic Index rates foods on how they affect your blood sugar. Foods with a higher rating digested and absorbed quickly and results in raised blood sugar levels, while foods with a lower rating digest and absorb more evenly so you do not experience a sugar spike.

What does this mean for your workout? Choosing foods with a low GI as your Pre-Workout Carbohydrate source will keep you from experiencing an energy crash mid-session.

P-W Meal Example

Bottom line, what you put in your body determines how well it will perform. Make sure you are choosing the right fuel & you are well on your way to reaching your goals!

Shout out to Kalie for always giving me honest feedback. Thanks girl!

Reference Links:
www.muscleandfitness.com
www.glycemicindex.com
www.diabetes.co.uk

Weight Loss Secret Weapon & MyFitnessPal App Review

I want to share with you one of my personal weight loss secret weapons…. Food Journaling!

The best way for you to gain an understanding of what you are putting in your body on a regular basis is to keep track of the meals you are eating. If writing down everything you eat all day sounds like a headache in the making, don’t worry, there is an app for that!
Check out MyFitnessPal!

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       Some of my favorite app features:

  • It takes just a few minutes to set up an account.
  • The app creates a plan that is based on your personal information.
  • They have a huge database of foods so all you have to do is search & add.
  • It will remember your most used foods & you can also save meals to use again later.
  • A great recipe function, just add ingredients & it will calculate nutrition per serving.
  • Oh & you can access your account from any computer.
    (in case using your phone at work is taboo)

Another awesome feature is that you can connect with other MyFitnessPal users! I love being able to share motivation and progress with my friends and family. If you are already on MyFitnessPal or you are signing up for a new account, be sure to add Fit2BeQueen so we can encourage each other along the way!