Do you eat enough food for your gym goals?

We all know that nutrition is important. It gives our body the ingredients it needs to keep us alive. But do you know how to tune your nutrition for your gym goals? Do you know what and how do you need to eat when you are sticking to a training schedule? Don’t worry if you aren’t aware of those things – we are here to help you.

In short

In order to best meet your workout nutrition needs it’s better to have a healthy meal 1-2 hours before you exercise and another healthy mean 1-2 hours after you exercise.

For athletes

If you are a bodybuilder you are most definitely seriously lifting weights in order to gain a bigger muscle mass. If so, then you need more calories and proteins. It may be a good option to have a protein and carbohydrate drink during the work-out.
If you are preparing yourself for a fitness competition you probably want to go down to a body fat percentage of a single digit so you should limit your carbs but at the same time it may be a good think to add essential amino acids to your diet.
If you are an endurance athlete you need more calories and more proteins. You’ll also experience beneficial effects of a protein plus carbohydrate drink during the work-outs.

For the average person

If you aren’t one of the types listed below then you may be exercising just for health and fitness and you probably have modest goals. If that’s so and you don’t have any unique physiological needs, then you probably don’t need to stick to a particular nutrition plan. In this case you only need to eliminate the nutrient deficiencies, if there are any, and ensure proper sized portions with all the necessary nutrients.

Before exercise

You’d want to eat something before exercise in order to ensure that your energy will be sustained, your performance will be boosted and you’ll have proper hydration. Pre-exercise meals also help to speed up the recovery and preserve the muscle mass.
If you don’t give your body enough nutrients before exercise you may start to feel dizzy, lethargic or lightheaded during the work-out. You may also not perform as well as you usually do. It’s also possible than you won’t see good results.

Adding proteins pre-exercise can reduce the chance of muscle damage, can help the maintenance and the increase of the muscle size and gives your body enough amino acids. Pre-exercise carbs give your body the necessary fuel and help you recover. They also preserve the glycogen in the liver and in the muscles.

After exercise

After you exercise you need enough nutrients to help you refuel, rehydrate, recover and build muscle. Post-exercise protein intake helps the recovery and maintains the muscle tissue.
It’s good to consume minimally processed whole food carbohydrates after a work-out in order to equally restore the glycogen during the following 24 hours. This may also help you perform better on the next day.

Resources:
https://www.precisionnutrition.com/workout-nutrition-explained
https://www.self.com/story/signs-youre-not-eating-enough-before-a-workout

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