When we begin to train actively, we often stick to our usual diet. Meanwhile, proper nutrition allows reaching the desired forms much faster and maintain health.
Even if it takes place in the early morning, you need to eat. Otherwise, your body will not have the strength to perform exercises with high intensity, and training will be ineffective. In addition, when you are training on an empty stomach, you risk running catabolic processes when the body starts using protein from muscles as a fuel and destroying them.
1-1,5 hours before a training, you should eat well and include food products with a high content of complex carbohydrates-polysaccharides, which means:
Unlike simple carbohydrates-monosaccharides (fructose and sucrose), they take long to be digested and smoothly change the blood sugar level. Thus, they serve as a source of energy for a long time. Complex carbohydrates are found in:
- legumes and cereals (except white rice, oatmeal, muesli and other processed grains products);
- durum wheat pasta;
- whole grain bread;
- vegetables and greens;
- fruits and berries with low sugar content (avocados, gooseberries, strawberries, red currants, raspberries, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, apple).
In addition, include in your pre-workout menu a small portion of protein. For example, a small slice of salmon or a protein omelet made of 2 eggs. It is important that in the meal you take before a training contains not more than 3-5 grams of fat, because they slow digestion and cause a feeling of heaviness.
If you did not have the opportunity to eat before a training, have simple carbohydrates half an hour before the training:
- banana with yogurt,
- dried fruits.
They will provide a quick burst of energy. Avoid sweets! They provoke a sharp jump in blood sugar, prevent anabolic processes and, in addition, increase the feeling of hunger and contribute to excess weight gain.Due to the training, the so-called “protein-carbohydrate window” is formed in the body. This is due to the fact that our body expends energy from muscle glycogen during exercise. In 40-60 minutes after a strength training, the reserves of this element are depleted.Then, in the absence of another source of energy, our body uses its own muscles to fuel, destroying them. This process is called catabolic process. After training, our task is to prevent it and to trigger the anabolic process (restoration and growth of muscle tissue) by having a portion of easily digested carbohydrates and proteins.You need to fill the deficiency of carbohydrates with products with a high glycemic index immediately after a strength training. For example, a spoonful of honey or a banana. Then you need to have a portion of proteins, which is a building element for muscle tissue.Protein shakes suited this purpose ideally, since the protein that they contain is quickly absorbed and immediately goes in for the recovery and growth of muscles. Better have it 10 minutes after the training.
Half an hour after the training, have another meal with a small amount of complex carbohydrates and protein foods, like:
- lean fish,
- cottage cheese,
Make sure that your meal is low in fat, which slows down the absorption of nutrients. Caffeine also inhibits the digestion. It is found in coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate. There is an opinion that it is better not to eat after the training, if it takes place late at night, because our body sends into fat all calories that come in the evening.However, this is a mistaken opinion. After any strength training, we have to fill the deficiency of proteins and carbohydrates to avoid destructive processes in the body. Of course, you need to eat at least an hour before bedtime, because the metabolism is slow at night, and the products will be digested for a very long time, not allowing your body to fully relax.In addition, the calories will not have time to burn and can truly go into fatty deposits. For this reason, it is better to give preference to the most easily assimilated foods before bedtime. You can have:
- light omelet,
- low-fat cottage cheese,
- protein shake.
When you have a strength (anaerobic) training, it is extremely important to replenish the supplies of both proteins and carbohydrates. However, having just proteins is sufficient, if you are limited only to cardio-training, like:
For example, you can have a protein shake. Thus, you, on the one hand, will stimulate the fat burning process, and on the other hand – will provide the muscles with the nutrients they need to recover thanks to the consumption of easily digestible proteins.
Those who want to lose weight, are also recommended to reduce carbohydrate intake after strength trainings, but, of course, not to give it up completely. Active fat burning in this case is triggered by the fact that the body begins to break down the subcutaneous fat, which contributes to weight loss, due to the lack of an easily accessible source of energy – carbohydrates – and with enough protein.
However, when you think of reducing the amount of carbohydrates, do not forget about having a balanced diet. The daily ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates is 30%, 30%, 40%, respectively, so do not completely ignore carbohydrate food. If you do, it can lead to food imbalance. Do not forget about the main rule of nutrition for weight loss – spend more calories than you consume!