High-intensity training, like bodybuilding, requires a lot of work and strength. Appropriate amounts of food in one’s diet should be strategically planned when undergoing this kind of training.
Selecting the right nutrients for your muscles is just as selecting the best fuel for your car for quality performance. If you need to drive further distances, you need the right fuel for your engine. This is to reach your destination or go beyond the goal you set for the day.
With this, it is not enough that you know your nutrition facts, calorie intake, proteins, and such, it is also necessary when will you take them strategically.
We need to cover all of the meals for your workouts which can give you optimum strength from the nutrients you consume. From pre-, mid-, and post-workouts, follow this guide to revamp your nutrition program for maximum strength.
Know the importance of the pre-workout meal
‘Tomorrow’s workouts are built on today’s fuel.’ Diet and Training complement each other. To grow muscles, quality and quantity of the foods will serve as your fuel on your training. Loading necessary nutrients, such as proteins, can give enough strength during the heavy training.
A pre-workout meal is just as necessary for other meals. Your body, as well as your muscles, take time to absorb nutrients from your pre-workout meal. This meal increases your glycogen levels in your body. This also prevents your muscles from entering the catabolism process.
Your fuel must satisfy the needs of the workout
A diet containing high-protein certainly helps your body to repair body tissue. It is required during the anabolic process for muscle growth. Basically, it serves as a raw material for muscle building.
It is also important that you take carbs for pre-workout meals. Aside from the building of the muscles, also your body needs energy. Calories from carbs affect your blood sugar levels. This will give your muscles a spike of energy, given that they are quick-digesting.
Fats are also necessary for your diet which maintains the optimal hormone level. This provides slow-burning fuel efficiency for longer training hours.
*Note that fats slow down the absorption of nutrients. It should only be taken if you undergo high-intensity workouts longer than 90 minutes. Fats can serve as fuel if the body needed.
Proper timing for pre-workout meals
The nutrients from complex or natural foods are surely hard to digest and to absorb as well. Your body cannot use it quickly and needed time to acquire the nutrients your body needs in the time of training. You must consume your pre-workout meal 1 to 2 hours before your training. However, you need to utilize your pre-workout meal and not wait 4 to 5 hours before you start exercising. You don’t want your pre-workout meal turned into fat instead of using it as energy.
Your pre-workout meals can be your emergency power outlet in case there will be a power shortage. Thus, this will prevent your body from using your muscles mass to be broken down to be used as fuel. Before the training, your protein reserve is the most crucial nutrient to your body to build muscles.
Foods for your mid-workouts
This may not be necessary at all if you secured your pre-workout meal. It may just cause inconvenience for you as well as divert energy to your digestion instead of the workout.
However, during high-intensity workouts, your body burns many fuels from carbs that are broken down into glycogen. The glycogen is used as a fuel for your muscles to perform heavy exercises.
Proteins can also give you aid during lifting of weights. During mid-workouts, your body breaks down available protein. With high-intensity training, your body can use up all the reserved proteins. You may need to restock again for emergency purposes.
Replenish your body with mid-workout drinks
By knowing your training hours, you need to prepare necessary precautions to help your body in the time of crisis. When you used up your nutrients necessary for the workout, you must have a go-to drink that will save your body from shutting down.
During long training sessions, your body enters into a catabolic state. This will end up breaking down your muscle tissue you are trying to build. With this, a protein shake can prevent the effect of providing necessary nutrients to your body.
BCAAs are the most go-to drink by bodybuilders that immediately provide necessary nutrients such as amino acids as well as energy. They usually have low to no calories.
This drink may not be necessary while you train, it is just an emergency fuel for the body to rely on to make your body works consistently.
Why you should not ignore post-workout meal
During high-intensity training, the loss of necessary nutrients in the body is inevitable. Fast-digesting carbs and proteins must be consumed after your workout. This is to prevent your body from using your muscle tissue as fuel.
If a post-workout meal failed to consume, you are not only wasting your training for that day but also you may suffer from the next training. It could also cause you extra soreness if you ignore the post-workout meal. It can also affect your body’s response from the anabolic response and missed most of it.
The reason why this is crucial is that your body is to balance the insulin caused by heavy exercise. Insulin is a natural substance produced by the body. It balances your sugar to not overshooting the amount of sugar in your body. Consuming your post-workout meal helps encourage protein synthesis.
What to consume for your post-workout?
During workouts, your body breaks down available protein in your body and convert it into amino acids. Refilling your proteins in your body with easy to digest protein shakes can increase protein synthesis. It also includes muscle growth and prevention of muscle soreness soon as the protein breaks down into amino acids.
Post-workout meals should consist of simple and easy to digest food to respond from the spiking of insulin levels to your body. Foods that have moderate-to-high-glycemic carbs can also counter the insulin effect.
In contrast, fats should be avoided in both pre- and post-workout. This tends to delay the process of digesting foods and nutrients that could have responded immediately to your muscles.
What should your protein shake have to contain for your post-workout?
The purpose of a protein shake to the post-workout meal is to respond and replenish glycemic levels in your muscles to build them as well as prevent soreness. Since it doesn’t need to be digested, protein shakes can easily target your muscles. Your protein shake also serves as your recovery drink to help your muscles.
The sooner you finish your servings of protein shake the better it will do its function immediately.
The right timing for your post-workout meal
The consumption of your post-workout meal should not be after 1 or 2 hours after the training. If you have your mid-workout protein shake, skip this after finishing the workout and consume necessary meals from real foods 30 minutes after.
Right timing is undoubtedly critical for pre- and post-workout meals. You can optimize the use of the nutrients to your body and use it to prevent the catabolic process and focus more on the anabolic process.
Utilize the efficiency of your nutrients with simple versus complex foods
Diets can decide our fate after intense workouts. We should know the function of our body on its every reaction to the routines and nutrients we consume. After training sessions, you can still create another insulin spike with fast-digesting and simple carbohydrates. On the other hand, you can use complex, slow-burning carbs to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent unwanted fat gain.
Insulin is the body reacts as anti-catabolic when you are moving or exercising. In contrast, while you are at rest, your insulin switches into anabolic. After working out, your insulin levels get lower but you can spike it again by the use of your post-workout foods.
Insulin works as a fat-storing hormone. Normally, you stable it to prevent from gaining weight because of fat. With the use of diet, you can use your insulin to build muscle instead of fat to your body through complex foods.
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