Properly fueling your body for your intense workout takes a little planning ahead. Consuming the proper nutrition will give your body the energy it needs to perform.
Learn how to time your meals to help you maximize your workout potential in the following tips from our expert.
This is a tricky question for a couple of reasons:
1. Everyone is different – it’s cliche, but still true.
2. Research varies depending on the type of workout and the individual.
Basically, you should always plan ahead to a workout – especially for a hard workout. As a general rule, you should consume a small or light meal, including complex carbs and most certainly protein, at least 2 hours before a workout. Certain individuals may find they need 3 or 4 hours prior to a workout. If you can’t eat something a couple of hours before, consume something within 20-30 minutes of the workout – i.e. a fitness shake that is low in fat and high in carbohydrates or half of an energy bar. The higher the carb count (especially simple carbs), the closer to the workout the food should be consumed.
Afterwards, eat something ASAP (less than 30 minutes), like a protein shake (relatively low in fat) or the rest of the energy bar. This should only be ~200 calories (depending on the person) or so. Then in 2-3 hours, eat a complete meal, focusing on a complete protein – something like chicken, salad, and a piece of fruit.
The most important thing is to eat something that will satisfy your energy demands during the workout and something that works for your stomach and dietary concerns.
Sean Langlais, Biomechanics Consultant, Biomechanics Engineering
How do you plan ahead to ensure you’re incorporating the proper nutrition into your diet?
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