Nutrition Before, During and After Workouts
In order to achieve the maximum possible effect of the workouts, nutrition before, during, and after workouts must be as good as possible. It must provide the body with enough energy to help one go through the workouts and it must provide more than enough building blocks for regeneration and recovery.
Published: February 20, 2021.
For optimal results, one should consume:
- One solid meal, around 2 hours before workout. This meal should be in the form of complex carbs and lean protein sources like meat, fish, egg whites, chicken, turkey, and similar. Depending on personal habits, this 2-hour window can be longer or shorter.
- 20-30 minutes before workouts, a trainee should consume a shake in the form of some energy booster (like BSN NO-Explode, Labrada SuperCharge, and similar), or one can take some Meal Replacement Powder (MRP) and add some guarana or caffeine for additional energy. Or to keep things simple, guarana or caffeine pill or two before workouts can give a really nice energy boost. Note that energy boosters often increase heart rate and blood pressure, so they should be taken under the doctor’s supervision.
- In the middle of a workout, one should start to drink a thin shake consisting of whey protein and BCAA in powdered form with some simple carbs and vitamins, and minerals. Or at least, some water should be consumed during hot weather workouts. Although whey, BCAA, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and water can prolong workouts and enable one to train harder, some people don’t like weight in the belly during workouts – if you are one of them, skip this part, except taking water in small sips ...
- After a workout, a proper Post Workout Meal (PWM) shake consisting of whey protein, fast carbs, creatine monohydrate, BCAA in powdered form, glutamine, and vitamin C, should be consumed with plenty of water. This PWM shake will provide the body with plenty of nutrients for recovery and regeneration and will even spike the trainee’s insulin level and help the cells ‘soak’ the nutrients.
- Around 60-80 minutes after PWM shake, one should take a solid meal consisting of complex carbs, vegetables, and lean protein source. If you are ectomorph, feel free to add some white rice or white pasta into this meal.
After the first solid meal after a workout, we should be dieting as usual. This way we will provide the body with enough energy to make it go through the hard workouts and with enough protein, minerals, and vitamins to avoid and prevent catabolism.
During the workouts, fats should be avoided. Omega-3 and CLA capsules can be consumed after solid meals, according to the recommendations by their manufactures or your doctor or physician. A tablespoon of olive or fish oil can be consumed per single solid meal, too. However, drinking olive or fish oil ‘to increase available energy’ is far from being recommended.
If you don’t like taking liquids of any kind before, during, and after workouts, because they make you feel bloated or simply uncomfortable for working out, then don’t take them – except PWM, which is highly recommended.
Long story short - if you are dieting on water and air, don't expect to be able to work out properly. Organizing the nutrition the smart way, enables a trainee to consume a limited amount of calories and to have more than enough energy for proper workouts.
Some people doubt such methods, but taking 25g of protein and 25g of carbs with some vitamins and minerals for a total of 200 kcal, often enables people to easily burn 500+ kcal on their rowers, treadmills, ellipticals, and similar, without feeling hungry, lightheaded, without muscle cramps and similar.