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Nutrition is one of the important factors in your training, arguably even more important than your workout. But what’s more important is the food that you take around your workout time.
The following are some essential things to remember when thinking about your pre and post-workout nutrition.
Carbohydrates are the fuel for your body that is readily available to be used. Ensure that you have enough carbohydrates pre-workout, especially if you’re doing some high-intensity workout to feel energetic and avoid lack of energy, possible fainting, or dizziness later in the workout.
Remember that a good meal may need 1-4 hours to properly digest so this should be taken into consideration, and pre-workout meals should be timed accordingly. Having a heavy meal just before the workout may cause you to feel nauseated and can also make you feel sluggish.
Hydration is essential for athletic performance and to avoid any muscle cramps or injury during a workout. Your water should have electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc. These ensure that water is retained in the body and that the nerves and muscles are functioning correctly.
It is important to note that you may not hydrate when you drink water, so allow yourself to be hydrated a little before the workout and then continuously during the workout, depending upon the sweating level.
If you’re really into the workout, caffeine before the session will act as a stimulant and promote alertness and a better, more energetic workout. But your body will adjust to the level of caffeine intake, and it may not have a similar stimulating effect after a certain period of continuous intake.
During a workout, you may need some carbs and proteins quickly digested in the body and water intake. These should be in a form that is easy to intake, like in liquid form. Carbs with medium to the high glycemic index can digest quickly and efficiently, but care should be taken as they can raise your blood sugar level as well.
The carbs will keep your energy up during long workouts, and proteins will start the muscle repair process near the end of workouts or immediately after the workout has ended.
Directly after the workout is the time when your body needs the most protein since your muscle fibers begin to repair and need protein to carry out the process, so a high protein and medium carbs meal will be most effective at this time.
Your body needs different micro and macronutrients to perform optimally, and the timing of these nutrients around the workout should be observed. Before and during a workout is the time when you should be adequately hydrated and have enough energy storage. After a workout, your body needs protein to recover the muscles and carbohydrates to recover the energy storage.BACK