Americans spend well over $2 billion on dietary supplements promoted for achieving fitness and weight-loss goals, according to Science Daily. However, many of those spending the big bucks on supplements still fail to reach their goals. That’s why it’s important to know what to eat and when to get the most out of your workouts and weight-loss efforts.
Exercise alone is not enough to achieve your goals, particularly if you want to lose weight. You might be attending your gym training sessions five days a week or even have a personal gym at home, but failing to stick to a healthy diet might make your efforts counterproductive. The trick is to tailor your diet to your workout, fitness, or weight-loss goals in order to enjoy the enhanced benefits from your workout sessions.
Here are three straightforward considerations to follow:
1. Know the Right Pre and Post-Workout Foods
There are different types of exercise routines that most people engage in to achieve a specific goal. These could be fitness, weight loss, muscle or body building, and sports exercise routines. Whatever your goal is, knowing the right foods to eat before and after working out is important when it comes to feeding your muscles right.
Most people don’t realize the importance of pre- and post-workout nutrition. In fact, more than 90 percent of people work out on an empty stomach and don’t refuel after working out. Eating the right pre and post workout foods is a stepping stone towards improving your fitness, weight loss or muscle-building nutrition.
For instance, nutrition experts recommend that you eat simple carbohydrates before working out as they get digested and broken down quicker, which means they become a good source of energy more quickly. Some examples include a banana, white rice, or white bread for quick energy, which is roughly 30 grams of carbs to help carry you through the workout.
Along with carbs, you should intake roughly 15-30g of protein pre workout to keep some amino acids circulating in the bloodstream and help preserve muscles from breakdown. The fast-acting carb will help deliver this protein into the body to be used for energy throughout the workout.
Limit fiber and fat pre workout as these slow down digestion, which hinders protein and carbs ability to absorb and be utilized during the workout. Slowing down digestion leaves blood around the digestive tract that could be better utilized by the muscle tissues being trained in the workout.
Take your pre-workout snack about 30 minutes to an hour before your workout.
For your post-workout nutrition, you want to replace your used up calories, so refuel with a selection of healthy carbs and proteins like lean meats, brown rice, whole-meal bread, beans, fish, and tofu. Again, be sure to limit fat and fiber (pre and post are the only two meals where you want to limit these) to keep digestion and absorption quick to refuel the muscles and replenish the glycogen stores. Try to shoot for a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio post workout with majority of the carbs coming from a simple sugar source similar to the pre workout.
2. Pay Attention to Your Protein Intake
Protein in animal meat has been resurging as a culinary food trend in 2018, according to a report by Packaged Facts. Considering the importance of proteins in achieving fitness success, daily intake can have a significant impact on how easily you can achieve your fitness or muscle-building goals.
While proteins will typically help in the development of muscles, they can also be quite effective in a weight-loss workout routine. They help in inducing satiety, which will reduce your urge to overeat or take snacks in between meals. What matters most is paying attention to the type of proteins you eat. Start off by adding a variety of protein choices to your meals while watching your protein intake levels.
3. Include a Few Supplements
In a perfect world, anyone who is working out would have access to the recommended amounts of nutrients. But this is not the reality, so getting the right supplements to cater for the deficiency of vital nutrients is necessary.
For instance, not eating enough fatty fish? Try adding an omega 3 supplement to your diet so you can reap the benefits of this nutrient. Taking something like a glutamine supplement can increase the rate at which your body recovers after getting worn down a grueling workout session. Vitamin D can help in the development of strong bones. Choose supplements that make the achievement of your exercise goals easier.
When working hand in hand, a nutritious diet and a great workout could do wonders for your fitness and weight-loss goals. Furthermore, sticking to nutritious food choices will also provide you with a variety of health benefits.
By Jane Sandwood
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