First, you need to know how many calories from Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats you should be consuming a day in order to reach your goals. Once you have this information you can begin to accurately plan you peri-workout nutrition strategy.
Let's first cover the Pre-Workout window. This window is about 2-3 hours prior to the start of your workout.
During this window you'll want to consume something that helps you:
- Sustain energy
- Boost performance
- Preserve muscle; and
- Speed recovery
Possible sources could be:
- Whey protein powder
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Lean meats like;
- Chicken or turkey
- 1-2 servings of protein dense foods
- 1-2 servings of vegetables
- 1-2 servings of carb dense foods
- 1 serving of an electrolyte infused drink like (catalyte)
Your shake may look like this:
- 1 scoop of whey protein powder
- 1 fist of vegetables (spinach and kale are great options)
- 1-2 servings of carbs (berries or a banana)
- Water, or possibly almond milk, (chocolate almond milk works as well)
Note: Unless you're running 20 miles or doing heavy weight training for 2 or more hours the most important thing during your workout is simply to stay hydrated. An awesome combination to accomplish this is to mix some Amino Acids with water and an electrolyte source like Catalyte. The Amino Acids help boost performance as they aid in muscle endurance. Amino Acids are also very important for preventing muscle breakdown and speeding the creation of new muscle.
If you are running for a really long time or participating in an intense weight training session lasting around 2 or more hours than you'll want to consume these two nutrients every hour:
- 15 grams of protein(for muscle gain) or 10-15 grams of BCAA's (for fat loss)
- 30-45 grams of carbohydrates. (gels, fruits, and carbohydrate powders)
This meal or shake will help with:
- Muscle building; and
- Improved future performance
A typical meal would look have:
- 1-2 servings of protein
- 1-2 servings of vegetables
- 1-2 servings of carbs
- 1 serving of catalyte
Wrapping it all up.
Peri-workout nutrition is very person specific. In order to effectively reap its benefits, your goals, training duration, and frequency must all be considered. In addition to this, your personal caloric needs and macronutrient breakdowns will also play a huge part in what you consume, how much, and when. If you need help figuring these things out, no worries, I'm just one click away.
You'll notice that I discussed three different supplements during today's article. Supplements are a great addition to any sound nutrition plan. Below you'll find banners for each of the above mentioned supplements (Catalyte, BCAA's, and Whey protein). I recommend these specific supplements for their efficacy. I recommend the specific supplement brand because they're products are certified pure and banned substance free.