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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AmiN.O. Energy – Pre-Workout Supplement Review

There are people on both sides of the supplement fence, those who say they would not be where they are without them and those who prefer to go natural all the way. I can see the merit in both sides of the argument. Personally, I like taking supplements because it helps give me that extra push that I don’t get from my diet. I always make sure to research the supplements I take and I feel like Optimum Nutrition’s AmiN.O. Energy is an excellent low key energy booster that will help get you to your goals.

Low Cost
I am always looking for ways to save, so I usually buy this supplement when it is on sale. Generally, this product ranges from $0.60 – $0.70 per serving.

Flavor & Texture
Optimum Nutrition offers 7 lovely flavors: Blue Raspberry, Fruit Fusion, Grape, Green Apple, Lemon Lime, Orange, & Watermelon. By far the Blue Raspberry is my favorite! I have tried a few of the other flavors and they are good but I always come back to Blue Raspberry. I generally mix 2 scoops in 8-10 oz of water in my blender bottle and it dissolves perfectly, no grit. I think most of the flavors are pleasant, no chemical aftertaste, and actually kind of remind me of Kool-Aid.

Energy

  • 1 Serving (2 scoops) is about as much energy as a cup of coffee.

  • You can adjust the amount of Pep you get by changing the # of scoops.

  • In addition to pre-workout energy it is mild enough to be used in place of other energy supplements such as coffee or energy drinks.

  • Not a crazy pump like some supplements, just steady energy. I have never gotten jittery or hot like with some other pre-workouts I have tried.

Recovery
Perhaps you have heard it before, but Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein. Our bodies require 20 amino acids to run properly. Essential Amino Acids are the 10 that our bodies can not create on their own. AmiN.O. Energy includes 9 of 10 Essential Amino Acids including the Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) which are the most important for muscle recovery.

Nutrition Facts
Lastly, AmiN.O. Energy has only 10 Calories, 2 Carbohydrates and no Sugar!

Do you use pre-workout supplements? If yes, what do you use? If no, why not?

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