When should you eat carbs or proteins, before or after I workout? Meal timing is as important as the quality of what you eat. Why? Mainly because by making sure that you include your pre and post workout meals you are also ensuring to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to both fuel your workouts and to build muscle and function properly.
When your goal is to build muscle and you work hard and lift heavy in order to achieve it and become stronger as well. When you put your muscles under stress, they get micro tears. This is the principle of Hypertrophy (building muscle).
Hypertrophy is a process that occurs in the body due to resistance training, which results in the growth of muscles. It not only increases your muscles but also stimulates cell division within them.
So, as you probably imagine by now, it is very important that you fuel your body with proper nutrition. You need to have some carbohydrates in your system to fuel your workouts. That way you can lift heavier, perform more reps and, thus, build more muscle.
Everyone claims that after you work out it’s important that you eat protein, but why?
As previously mentioned, when you workout, your muscle gets micro tears. This happens because the muscle is under stress. The contractions and stretches that happen during resistance training create micro tears, that explains why you may feel a bit sore after a workout!
Now, in order to repair the muscle that has been broken down, your body needs to synthesize proteins (use the available protein in your body) to repair the tissue. So, you can help the process by providing extra protein. Especially because it’s normally hard to hit the required daily protein.
My favorite Tone & Sculpt Pre and Post Workout Snacks:
PRE WORKOUT SNACKS
Prior to working out, it is best to consume carbohydrates, as they provide quick energy to fuel your workout. Carbohydrates help maximize the use of sugar to promote short-term and high-intensity exercise.
Some people like to have a caffeine drink as well, such as black coffee as a pre-workout drink, but this is completely up to you.
My Favorite Tone & Sculpt Pre Workout Snacks:
- Energy balls: This is a great combo as it contains the best of both worlds, the carbs from the oats and the protein from the peanut butter. Besides it is by far one of the easiest and most delicious recipes in the app!
- Mixed nuts: Nuts are a great pre workout, they are both very quick to prep and you can have them on the go! They are also a great source of complex carbs, protein and healthy fats (a complete meal).
- Banana split: From a nutrition perspective, this is a well-rounded snack, it’s got all macro nutrients and is rich in micronutrients. Best part is, from a foodie perspective, it’s just amazing!
- Protein rice cake: Good old protein rice cakes! This is by far my favorite snack. It’s quick, easy to take on the go and super complete, as it contains all macronutrients and the carbs from the rice cake are a fast source of energy.
POST WORKOUT SNACKS:
- Protein shake and banana: A protein shake is always a great choice, it is quick to prepare and you can have it on the run! I suggest a whey isolate or a plant-based isolate.
- Protein bar: Just as a protein shake, this one is even easier to carry to the gym. Simply chuck it in your bag and have it on your way!
- Cottage cheese toast: This is simply my personal favorite from the app! I just love the taste of a good toast topped with tomatoes. The only downside is this is not a very on the go friendly snack, so consider saving it for your home workouts!
How long before a workout should You take pre-workout?
You require at least an hour or more to digest a bigger size meal. So, stick to the portion suggested by the app. Experts recommend you have your pre workout snack between 20-30 minutes prior to hitting the gym.
How long after workout should I eat a post-workout meal?
It’s recommended you have a post-workout meal within 20 to 30 minutes after working out. Your body's ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after exercise. However, experts also claim that so long as you eat at least within the next hours after working out, you’ll be fine! So no need to rush!
Nutrition doesn’t have to be really complicated, which is why I love the tone and sculpt app! Your diet doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be efficient and simple (yet delicious!) enough for you to just stick to it long term, because that is when you see the greatest benefits!