By: Trudie German
Some questions when it comes to exercising and nutrition seem to be universal. Examples like, “how long before I see results?”, “how many days of the week should I be training?”, and “what should I eat before and after work out?” It seems these questions only cross your mind when you are half way through your routine and feel as if you’re running out of energy. You may start lagging in your routine or even have to quit because you simply feel as if you have run out of fuel.
You ask yourself, why do I feel like this, what’s going on?
But how often do you ask yourself “When was the last time I ate, and what did I eat?
Why you should eat before working out
Your body is a machine, and like any other machine, to perform optimally, it needs to be fueled properly. Before exercise, you want to make sure you’re not asking too much of a body that’s not properly fueled. Also, after a workout you’ll want to take care to replenish what you’ve lost.
Prior to exercise your body needs the proper fuel for energy to maximize your workout and increase your ability to burn calories. Within 1-2 hours prior to working out you should be consuming complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, and fruits. Carbohydrates are ideal as they are the main source of energy used and converted quickly by the body. Of course the more intense your workout will be, the more carbohydrates you will need to consume.
If you are pressed for time prior to working out, for example in the early mornings, you can drink your carbs. Making a smoothie in the mornings is great, as your body absorbs liquid rapidly. The key is to ensure you consume easily digested food to prevent feeling lethargic during your workout. Food high in protein and fat are not recommended as the body requires more time to digest them. Also they can sometimes lead to ache or cramps in your stomach during your workout.
You’ve just completed an amazing workout (since you had the proper food to fuel your machine), great!!!
Now you’re starving. What should you eat?
Since carbohydrates are the main source of energy utilized, you now need to replenish them. During your workout, muscles were torn down and they now need to be repaired and rebuilt..
Research has shown that eating or drinking a meal or snack that combines both carbohydrates and protein within 90 minutes of working out yields the best results.
As fat takes a longer time to be absorbed in the body (either good or bad) they should be avoided for up to 120 minutes post workout.
As you can see, nutrition plays an essential role in your health, and by fueling up your body properly, you will ensure you get the best results from every workout.
Trudie is both a Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Body Envy, offering boot camp classes, mobile, and local personal training services around the Greater Toronto area. Trudie certifications include those from Reebok Spinning, TWIST BOSU and Resistance, as well as the National Academy of Sports Medicine and courses through RTS. Above and beyond her work with her clients, Trudie also placed 2nd in her very first Figure Competition through the Ontario Physique Association (OPA) in May 2011. You are invited to visit her website www.bodyenvy.ca.