When and what should you eat before and after training? Does it matter? If I ever get around to writing a book, I will have at least a chapter on this topic, so this brief article won’t nearly cover it all. If you have questions and live around the Harford County, Maryland region, contact me.
Since most of my clients are from the U.S., they are trying to lose excess fat. It’s at epidemic levels here, and more than half of all Americans are over weight. I tell them that the best thing they can do is a quick easy 20 minute cardio type workout right after getting out of bed and BEFORE they eat anything. The reason for that is two fold.
- The exercise stimulates and raises your metabolism from the lowest it gets – sleeping.
- There is very little glucose in your bloodstream for your body to burn for fuel, so your body will turn to fat as an energy source quicker than it would if plenty of glucose was available.
Fat is the preferred fuel for cardio and endurance type training, but it takes a while for your body to convert over to fat burning mode – it’s kind of like trying to light a log on fire with a match. It doesn’t happen, You have to work your way up to it. Your body works its way over to fat burning in much the same way. That means you don’t have to eat prior to cardio training if fat burning is your primary goal.
For very intense training – like strength training – carbohydrates are your friend, and you will need to make sure you are well stocked with them before training. Having a good COMPLEX carbohydrate and protein meal an hour or two before an intense training session is ideal.
Your body uses primarily carbohydrates for this type of training, and when those carbohydrate stores becomes depleted, you feel it. If you have ever experienced that exhausted and spent “I’m toast” feeling at the end of your workout, it’s probably because your carbohydrate supply was just about gone. That is also why it is beneficial to have a post workout protein and simple carb shake immediately following training. Your body needs this fuel and protein to replenish what was depleted and to repair the muscles.
Getting it right after your workout significantly enhances this uptake. I advise clients to bring their protein shake with them with simple table sugar in the mix. They have their shakes at the conclusion of the workout, and recovery can begin immediately. Your body will use simple carbs taken at this time to refill the empty stores in your muscles. This stored carbohydrate is called glycogen, and your body learns to store more of it when it begins to adapt to the imposed demands you place upon it with exercise.
As I said, this is a brief synopsis and there is a lot more that goes into this. My clients all learn a lot because nutrition is always going to be key in how your body will respond to the exercise we’re doing. Train with me, and I’ll teach you everything you need to know to make your body be all that it can be.
Dave – Your Harford County, Maryland Personal Fitness Trainer
Results are what you’ll get when you train with me. I’m conveniently located in Forest Hill near the center of Harford County, Maryland. Clients come to me from Fallston, Jarrettsville, Bel Air, Forest Hill and Baltimore. I’ve got the experience, the ability, the knowledge and the success stories of my students to testify that my training is result driven and result based. Visit my webpage for more information.
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