Fuel up your workouts to get the most out of your training!

Do you feel like you're not seeing the results from your intense workouts? It could be because you are not properly fueling before and after your training to reap maximum benefits and provide the muscle with the raw materials it needs.

As all types of exercise use carbohydrates for energy, muscle carbohydrate depletion is inevitable. Therefore having at least 1-2 meals under your belt before training has been shown to give you more energy and a more effective workout.  These meals should consist of 20-30 grams of complex carbs for women and 30-45 grams for men.  These carbs could consist of  vegetables, sweet potatoes, beans, or whole grains or dark berries.  This will give you the energy you need to have a productive workout.  In addition, protein is another essential key to your workout success and incorporating a whey protein before your workout has shown to be the most effective protein for your muscles to utilize and create a more effective workout.   If you don’t have a whey protein handy, eggs, chicken, turkey, or lunch meat are all great sources of lean protein. Range of protein should be anywhere from 15-25 grams for women, and 25-45 grams for men.

A post-workout meal makes your workout complete.  Your muscles will thank you the next day because you can prevent some soreness by getting in the right nutrients after your workout.  A good post workout meal will also keep you from feeling fatigued and build your lean mass; which is the tissue that increases our metabolism and helps us burn more calories throughout the day.  Your post workout meal should consist of simple carbohydrates such as fruit.  Fruit is easily digested and easy for your body to break down so the nutrients will be stored as energy reserves in your muscle cells. Of course, a post workout meal is not complete with a protein source; 20-25 grams for women, and 30-45 grams recommended for men. 

While your post-workout feeding should be rich protein and carbohydrate, this meal should be fat free. The consumption of essential fats is one of the most overlooked areas of daily nutritional intake but during the post workout period, eating fat can actually decrease the effectiveness of your post-workout beverage. Since fat slows down transit through the stomach, eating fat during the post workout period may slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and proteins.

Finally, another important factor to consider is the timing of these meals. Preworkout meal should be consumed 30 minutes to an hour beforehand.  Post workout is slightly different, it is absolutely crucial that you consume your post-workout meal immediately after exercise. As indicated above, after exercise, the muscles are depleted and require an abundance of protein and carbohydrate. In addition, during this time, the muscles are biochemically "primed" for nutrient uptake.

I assure you that once you start paying attention to this variable in the pre workout and recovery equation, your time in the gym will be much better invested.

The best pre and post workout nutrients are something I like to call my workout “Sandwich”.  I “sandwich” my workout with a complete carbohydrate and protein rich shake before and after training. 

Your workout “sandwich”:

1 cup almond milk or water

3 ice cubes

1 scoop whey protein isolatepowder (25 for women, 35 for men)

½- 1 cup fruit (your choice – stick with dark berries for your preworkout, any fruit post workout.)

 1 tsp glutamine powder for women, 2 tsp for men

1 tsp BCAA powder for women, 2 tsp for men

Blend together in a blender, or shake ingredients in a shaker cup and eat the fruit on the side.

Get Summer ready with these 5 tips!

Kick your summer into gear with these  5 key points to get to your weight loss goal!

1.)   Power up your protein: 25 grams of protein within 25 minutes of waking up. Starting your day off with a substantial amount of protein decreases cravings throughout the day, stabilizes your blood sugar, and helps to continue to lose weight long term.

2.)   Drink ½ ounce of water per pound of body weight every day: try incorporating your water intake before meals.  Drink a 16 oz water bottle before every meal and this will decrease the amount of food you eat on average of 75-90 calories.   Water also helps energize muscles. When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer.

3.)   Avoid eating carbs from bread, pasta, and rice past 4 pm. Keep your dinners light consisting of lean protein options and lots of vegetables.  Too many dense carbohydrate choices at night with little activity will cause your body to store those carbs in unwanted places.  The main reason you want carbohydrates in your diet is for energy, and when you are at home sitting in front of the television or computer, you don’t necessarily need those carbs!  Besides, too many carbs at night will leave you feeling sluggish the next day.

4.)   Increase heart healthy fats: these fats lower your insulin levels, so the extra calories you eat are burned off for energy, instead of being stored as body fat.  These fats also increase your body’s production of energy, and also improve the blood flow to muscles during exercising, thus increasing your body’s ability to burn more unwanted fat stores.

5.)   Avoid sugar! We all know sugar has its harmful effects, but do you really understand what it can do to our body? The body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch. Sugar can also decrease growth hormone (the key to staying youthful and lean). Sugar feeds cancer, can interfere with the absorption of protein, and contributes to diabetes and high cholesterol.  What should you do? Start with reading labels and avoid ingredients with sugar in the first 5 ingredients.  Cut out foods you know have high sugar content.  Start looking at grams of sugar on labels, and limit to 40 grams of added sugar a day.  This does not include fruit.