When we are trying to look for some reliable information regarding nutrition around your workouts, it can be very difficult. This is because there is a lot of confusing information out there that can make it hard to figure out how much to have or if carbs are beneficial, let alone anything else.
As a result I have put together this handy guide to your nutrition pre- and post-workout – making sure your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
Workout Nutrition for Fat Loss
The main goal here is to consume the most-nutrient dense food that allows you to avoid hunger and cravings, whilst supporting your body’s metabolism so that you feel energized and motivated for each workout.
1. The main priority is to establish simple and sustainable eating habits. Make sure you plan all your meals and eat a higher protein diet based around whole ingredients such as meat, eggs, fish, nuts, beans, vegetables and fruit.
2. Carbs are not needed for ‘energy’ pre-workout. If you have a fairly normal and consistent eating pattern, it is more than likely your muscle glycogen (energy) stores are full. With this you should be fine for an intense one hour workout, any longer then it may be useful to have some food (e.g. banana) during the workout.
3. Carbs are not essential post-workout. Carbs can be helpful after a workout for some people if you enjoy them. However, they are not essential and nothing bad will happen to you if you don’t eat carbs post-workout if you prefer to save them for later.
4. However, eating carbs post-workout is one of the best times to have them, for the following reasons:
- Your metabolism is elevated and you will be burning calories at a faster rate.
- The body will use carbs to replenish muscle glycogen rather than storing them as fat.
- Eating carbs after training can lower levels if the stress hormone cortisol, which can improve body composition over time.
5. The second best time to eat carbs is at night. This is because carbs will calm the nervous system down and help get you off to a better night’s sleep. Consequently, if you are on a low-carb diet, you may want to save your carbs for dinner. But go with what works best for your body and your sanity.
6. Supplemental protein powder can be very useful when trying to lose body fat. This is because it is a very practical and easy way of helping to reach you daily protein goals. However, it is not necessary if you prefer to get your protein from food.
7. Aim for around 20g of whey protein that is free of any added sugar when using protein powder post-workout. Whey protein is the best protein when it comes to fat loss for the following reasons:
- Highest thermic effect of all protein sources – whey causes the body to burn the most calories during digestion than any other protein source.
- Reduces hunger and causes people to eat fewer calories at subsequent meals.
These are some handy tips that should help you to optimise your nutrition before and after a workout, which should also help to maximise you fat loss results.