Nutrition Q&A

What should I eat Pre + Post Workout - May 2

Pre Workout Nutrition:

1. Depends on three major objectives:

  • How much time do you have allotted before exercise
  • How your body breaks down food for energy
  • What the exercise or type of exercise being completed after this meal or snack

2. Timing: This is huge because everyone breaks down different types of food at different rates. However, everyone is typically the same when we suggest that you don't want to eat directly before because while your muscles are trying to do its thing as is your stomach, these are completing demands and can hinder the performance of the exercise. Morning people; you may not have enough time before your 5a class to have breakfast and that's okay, fasted exercise isn't recommended but it possible and sometimes beneficial. However, if you see yourself depleting during the workout or getting a bit nauseous we might need to try something like collagen in your coffee, half a banana, or a BCAA powder to add to your water- light but it has calories. Afternoon or night exercisers; you just want to watch the window before activity, 1-4 hours before exercise is ideal, the heavier the meal/snack the more time you'll need. Fatty and high density protein needs more time to break down in the GI system to use for energy rather than carbs, that's the best rule of thumb when choosing a snack pre- workout.

3. How your body breaks down food is detrimental when choosing what to eat before working out. Protein and Carbs are your friends, fat takes a while to digest and could disturb your GI during the workout causing cramping or put a halt to exercise, if you do have fats try to keep it to 10g or less. Protein "primes the pump", it's not just a post workout need. Protein also begins muscle gain during the workout as well as stabilizes blood sugar and prevents energy crashes. Carbs are the true hero's here; complex carbs like starchy veggies and whole grains provide long lasting energy opposed to simple carbs. Be aware of dried fruits and fiber as that will also disturb the GI system and may cause discomfort.

4. Type and length of exercise: If you're choosing to exercise fasted, the exercise should only last 45 minutes. If you are looking to exceed 60 minutes of exercise (strength and spin peeps) carbs are needed 50-100g is ideal. If we're looking into strength classes or a spin with a lot of hills I would definitely recommend protein and carbs; that could be something as simple as a protein shake with fruit and oats in it.

5. Caffeine! Always a hot topic! Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic, two things that you cannot just spring on your body and hope it adapts. This one is truly trial and error (as most things with nutrition are) but I wouldn't suggest having a pre-workout supplement with 100g of caffeine for the first time before a spin class. Try it out by having half a scoop and a lot of water then gradually add when you feel as if your body has adjusted to both the increase in caffeine as well as the exercise program.

6. You know your body best. Listen to it, feel the difference between oatmeal and eggs before a workout, that's the only way you'll learn. Eating before a workout never made anyone fat and skipping a pre workout meal never created shredded bodies.

Post Workout Nutrition + Fad Diet Breakdown - May 9

Post workout nutrition follows the same objectives of pre workout nutrition; timing, type, and based upon exercise.

Timing: You have a window from 45 minutes-4 hours. Timing and preparedness goes hand in hand, the longer you wait without proper nutrition post workout the less control you have over what you'll eat- binge eating is common here. While timing is important to replenish blood sugar levels and begin to fulfill protein stores, true post workout nutrition is up to 24 hours because your body repairs the broken down muscle fibers an entire day after the activity. The most important nutrient post workout is water and replenishing the body- water enables nutrients to be delivered efficiently as well as partners with protein to repair broken down muscles. 32-40 oz of water within 2 hours of exercise for every 1 hour of exercise.

Type: What do I eat after a workout? Protein is obvious but did you know that carbs not only regulate blood sugar to prevent hunger and a mental crash but also delvers and aids the protein in rebuilding the muscle fibers. Every individual person is different when it comes to how much carbs and protein per gram however everyone should be at least 1:1 carb to protein ratio, cardio workouts will see 2:1. Example of post workout meals: PB&J and chocolate milk, protein shake with an appropriate supplement and fruit, lean meat with a veggie and whole grain, egg omelette with cheese and veg with a fruit, big ass salad with lean meat or high quality source of protein, etc.

Based Per activity type: High cardio= high carbs, High strength= High protein with carbs; often we forget what the body is depleted of based on the activity. Have you ever said to yourself- I am so hungry on the days I do cardio? That is because you haven't brought in enough carbs post workout to fulfill your blood sugar levels and/or protein synthesis. Additionally, healthy fats slow processes slow which elongates muscle rebuild and blood sugar drops, therefore adding healthy fats will keep you less hungry and more effective with muscle repair.

Carb Cycling: Carb cycling is a dietary approach in which you alternate carb intake on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. It is used for fat loss or performance, I haven't seen this approach work for mass increase or weight gain. Its also heavily used to overcome a long weight loss plateau. To accomplish this diet you must understand your body type (ecto, meso, endo) then you will need to know your calorie intake vs carb intake in grams. I see this to be most effective in endurance athletes. Protein and Fat are effected by the cycle; High fat on low carb days and low fat of high carb days.

KETO: Ketosis is a metabolic process when the body is high in ketone bodies which is a result of low glycogen stores (energy), this process is common in diabetics. Ketosis takes a few days to achieve by eating 20-50g of carbs per day and will remain for 2-4 days. You cannot sustain ketosis and you must have a prepared eating program for after those 2-4 days of ketosis. The biggest misconception of the keto diet is fat loss, I would categorize it as weight loss due to the muscle breakdown that occurs due to no protein synthesis happening because of lack of carbs (protein drivers). The Keto diet is an extreme version of carb cycling. You are manipulating your metabolic system by removing a macro nutrient which is detrimental to every day health.

Intermittent Fasting: Also known as intermittent energy restriction, is an umbrella term for various meal timing schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period. Three methods of intermittent fasting are alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting, and daily time-restricted feeding. Intermittent Fasting works so well for weight loss because it keeps our insulin levels down. Elevated insulin levels have been linked with obesity for some time. When we fast, insulin levels decrease which allows body fat to be burned more efficiently for fuel.

Heart Rate Zones - May 23

Here is an article and the Heart Rate Calculator. If you would like to learn what your Heart Rate Zones are please let us know and we can set up a time to do this with you.