How To Fuel You Body Before And After A Workout
When you’re working hard in the gym, you need to fuel your body correctly so that you can put 110% effort in and see results from all of your hard work.
Depending on your goal, whether that’s fat loss, muscle gain or even both, you’ll need to adapt your diet accordingly but here’s some key principles as a guide when fuelling your body.
Our bodies are made up of 70% water so make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising to ensure you’re working at optimum performance. Just 2% dehydration can decrease performance by 25%. You’ll lose around 0.8 to 1.4 litres of water during a workout session so it’s important to stay hydrated and replace any water you’ve lost. Drinking 2-3 litres of water a day will also help with weight loss and your general health too!
Increase your protein
If you’re doing some intense exercise or weight training, protein is essential in your diet for muscle recovery. Lean protein will keep you full throughout the day and it’s essential to restore and grow your muscles. Eating more protein alone won’t make you grow muscles; you need to put them to work too! Most people will get all the protein they need from food so additional protein supplements aren’t generally necessary.
Have a pre-workout snack
If you find you lack energy in the gym, opt for a pre work out snack such as a banana, some nuts or a protein bar. It will help give you that extra boost you need so you can push harder without feeling faint.
You need carbs for energy
Select wholegrain carbohydrates such as brown pasta and whole-wheat bread to help you feel fuller for longer as they burn energy at a slower rate than white starchy carbs. The body converts carbohydrates to glycogen which is the main fuel for your muscles to power your workout so cutting them out completely can make you feel sluggish and lack lustre.
If you really want to reduce the feeling of fatigue, caffeine has been proven to increase performance and stimulate fat burning. So by having a coffee for example 60-90 minutes before you’re due to exercise, you should feel an increase in your energy levels and be able to push yourself that little bit further.
To maximise your training it’s good to have a meal consisting of carbs and protein 2-3 hours before your workout but if the timings don’t work out be sure to have a snack such as a nutrition bar or banana an hour before to give you the boost of energy you need.
Ultimately, everyone is different so see what works for you, helps you function and gives you the most energy!