I’m not sure why pre and post workout meals seem SO complicated, but they do. I mean, we know how to eat, right?! Shouldn’t this be pretty simple? If we are eating clean does it really matter?
Turns out, it does matter if you want to maximize your workout, have sustained energy, replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle after your workout.
I know a whole lot of you out there get queasy if you eat before you hit the gym, and some of you feel weak and dizzy if you don’t chow down beforehand.
Alright guys, let's get the obvious out of the way first.
- You need to hydrate before, during and after your workout. Water is your body’s cooling system, plain and simple. And if you sweat a lot or work out in the heat, you can easily get dehydrated. Shoot for about 32 ounces of water in the 2 hours leading up to exercise. If you’re breaking a sweat before the sun comes up, just make sure you hydrate a little extra during your sesh. You really don’t need anything more than water unless you’re working out in extreme heat or intensely for longer than 60 minutes.
AFTER YOUR WORKOUT…
As with most things in life, timing is everything! It is absolutely critical that you consume your post-workout meal immediately after exercise. Muscles are depleted and require a wealth of protein and carbohydrates. This is called, "the window," and it’s when muscles are biochemically primed for nutrient uptake. Ideally, you’ll consume your post-workout meal within 20-30 minutes, and definitely within the hour.