Nutritional Timing: In Regards to Exercise

Pre-Workout:

In regards on what to eat before a workout, find yourself a low-glycemic carbohydrate. Low-glycemic foods are considered to be below the rating of 55 on the glycemic index (GI). A good option for a low-glycemic carb could be:
 

  • A small apple
  • Handful of grapes
  • Handful of cherries
  • An orange
  • A bowl of plain oatmeal
  • Lentils
  • Sweet potato

All of these listed above are considered to be low-glycemic carbohydrates and should be consumed no later than 2 hours before a workout. For a complete list of the GI, visit: www.glycemicindex.com.
Now the question is when do you need to eat these to get the most out of your workout. For that there is no better method than simple trial-and-error. Start at an hour before your workout and then tinker it from there. I personally can't bring myself to eat anything within an hour of working out and usually longer, but I know of people who can literally walk in to the gym eating and will do just fine.



Post-Workout:

First, you want to have yourself a post-workout shake/liquid blend consisting mainly of Whey protein. Whey protein is the fastest dissolving protein made widely available to nutrition stores everywhere. Your protein shake should contain roughly a 2:1 ratio of proteins to carbohydrates and should contain as little fat and sugar as possible.

Second, when you finally get home from the gym/finish your post-workout cardio, you want to consume a small meal of lean protein (fish, poultry, 90-beef or higher) and a high-glycemic carbohydrate such as white rice, bread, or potato. This second meal should come between 30 minutes to typically an hour after you finish the resistance training portion of your workout.

Finally, you want to consume a third meal consisting very similar of the second meal and with the same smaller sized portion approximately 60-90 minutes after your second meal. This will close out what is called your "post-workout anabolic window." It should also be noted that the consumptions of meals 2 and 3 are both low-non fat/sugar, without any added salt unless your shirt looks like you fell in the pool on your way home from the gym. Sticking to this type of eating plan around your workouts will generate a ton of progress in helping you reach your goals. 

When it comes to nutrition throughout the rest of the day be sure that you are loading up on nutrient packed foods such as vegetables, nuts, beans, and berries. Combining these types of foods with your lean proteins and generally low-glycemic carbs will help to establish healthy digestive function within your intestines, and help to keep your absorption rates high when consuming proteins necessary for muscular growth. Another good thing to keep in mind in regards to digestion is the consumption of plenty of water (a topic that will be covered shortly with summer approaching). The timing of your meals throughout the day should be something that best fits with your daily schedule. Don't stress yourself out about making a specific time for meal time to the point that your stress overcomes the benefits of proper nutrient timing. However, don't allow your body to go more than 3-4 hours without ingesting something to keep your metabolism burning high and your muscles growing leaner and stronger throughout the day.


Fit Tips

Dehydration by definition is simply, "Dryness due to the removal of water." So it's simple, you just drink water to avoid it right? Unfortunately it's not that easy. With summer approaching it's good to know what exactly is going on inside your body during dehydration, and what steps you can take to detect and prevent it from occurring.