No real intro needed for this……Below are facts and fiction about nutrition before, during and after your workout that you need to know:
FACT: Proper Pre-workout Nutrition – Proper pre-workout nutrition includes plenty of protein and enough carbs to fuel the workout. The amount of carbs you need is 100% dependent on the rest of your diet (how much glycogen are you already holding) as well as your training goals. If you are bulking, eat some dame food…If you are cutting, best to fall a bit short than go over what you need from an energy standpoint. Plenty of protein will ensure you keep a high level of aminos in your blood to retain and build muscle.
FICTION: Pre-workout Supplements – While these are definitely great if you are dragging and need the stimulants. The stimulants actually work against you from a physical standpoint. They restrict your blood vessels and impede blood flow. These supplements are then counter weighted with things like arginine, citrulline and agmatine to increase blood flow, but because of the stimulants, this is essentially painting your house in the rain…. It just isn’t going to work like you want it to. As for the stim-free varieties geared at straight muscle pump and blood flow…these ARE a benefit, but are trivial compared to your pre-workout nutrition. Many lifters place so much emphasis on what supplements they are taking pre-workout that they neglect the much more important nutrition aspect. This is like a sprinter spending his time researching which shoes he should wear to run faster instead of training for the race, good shoes matter, but other things are just much more important.
FACT: Intra-workout Hydration – It’s very important to stay hydrated during long workouts. More imprtnt is to hydrate BEFORE the workout, but in hot gyms or grueling workouts, extra water is needed to keep us hydrated and running more effectively.
FICTION: Intra-workout Nutrition- I was never sure why no one ever points this out….It takes a decent amount of time for your body to assimilate the food from your stomach into useable energy. This time is longer than a typical workout, so taking carbs, protein, aminos DURING a workout isn’t really effective. You need to get this nutrition in beforehand. Taking carbs intra-workout is a lot like checking to see how much money you have when you are already at the cash register to check out….it’s kinda too late at that point, you should have checked before you went shopping.
FACT: Post-workout protein – Immediately post workout, we need protein to rebuild muscles. Study after study has confirmed that flooding the system with fast, usable protein accelerates the recovery and muscle building process. It’s best to slam down a protein shake directly after training before you do anything else.
FICTION: Post-workout carbs and fats – By ingesting carbs and/or fats with our post workout protein, we slow the absorption of the protein, which is what matters. Science has not shown carbs immedaiately post workout to aid in recovery, only protein. The best course of action is to take down a protein shake right after training, then after an hour or so have a full meal, after the protein has had a chance to absorb and assimilate into the muscles.