Pre and Post Workout Nutrition Principles

Pre and Post Workout Nutrition Principles

Last week we put to bed the Protein Myth and now we can move onto some of the finer points of the nutrition principles that I teach my clients, specifically regarding what to eat pre and post workout.

“Carbohydrates and Fats Should be Inversely Proportionate”

These principles again are governed by your goals, activity level and current body composition (fat to muscle ratio).

In general the two macronutrient intakes we are looking to manipulate at meal times are carbohydrates and fats, maintaining a steady protein intake, approximately 25-30% of your meals.

If carbohydrates are high then fats should be low and vice versa at meal times.

This is due to the preferential way in which the body utilizes glucose from carbohydrates before energy from fats, as this process is less efficient and the body is always looking for the path of least resistance to conserve energy.

If you eat a meal that is both high in starchy/simple carbohydrates and fats then the body will use the carbohydrates and store the fats, potentially then leading to excess weight/fat gain.

There are also some more advanced nutrition strategies that do contradict the following guidelines but as a general rule of thumb these are worth following.

Fat/ Weight Loss: For those looking to lose weight and body fat a good rule of thumb is to consume the majority of your daily carbohydrate intake in the FIRST meal AFTER training, as this is when your body is most insulin sensitive and able to utilize the intake and conversion of carbohydrates into glucose.

Therefore the focus of meals pre-workout and at any other times should be low in starchy carbohydrates and higher in fats.

Performance/Muscle Growth: For those athletes looking to support high performance, training volume and intensity, then including starchy carbohydrates before and after training will benefit those people in maintaining that intensity and performance.

Health and Balance: For those looking to eat a balanced diet for health reasons and long term sustainability, then a balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates is the way forward. Avoiding eating sugary or simple forms of carbohydrates with high fat meals whenever possible.

As you can see it’s pretty simple really, you just need to take a step back and ask yourself what your goals are and then tweak your diet accordingly.

Some body types do however function much better on a higher fat and lower carbohydrate intake and some body types function much better on a higher carbohydrate and lower fat intake. Most of us are not only one type or another but usually a blend of two different body types.

Next week we’ll look at the 3 different body types and you can work out which one’s you’re a blend of.

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