The food we eat is the source of our energy, not only during workouts, but all day long. If you eat processed garbage and Frank-N’-Foods, don’t expect to hit a string of personal records in your performance. Garbage in equals garbage out. Fueling your body before and after a workout is critical to high performance during the session and speedy muscle recovery after the session.
A perfect example of carbs, fat, and protein. This is the type of pre-workout meal a large, well-built male would eat. I always eat one banana with 1.5 tblsp of raw almond butter before my workout which is also my daily breakfast.
This depends on the time of day that you train. If you train at O’Dark Thirty in the morning way before you would normally feel hunger, it’s not good practice to train on an empty stomach. At a minimum eat a piece of fruit or mix a scoop of whey protein powder with water or milk. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of high intensity energy.
Remember that carbs should encompass 40% of your daily calories. Eat all low glycemic carbs in the form of fruit and vegetables and whole grain items. Avoid like the plague high glycemic carbs in the form of white sugar, white flour, and anything processed. Think cake, cookies, candy, bread, pasta, etc. Everything from broccoli to a pack of candy is a carbohydrate. The only difference is the speed they enter your bloodstream and the corresponding insulin response.
Tilapia with ginger and garlic broccoli and spinach
While every meal and snack should contain protein, carbs, and fat, carbs are better to eat before the workout and protein after the workout. If you train within 3 hours of breakfast, your well-balanced healthy breakfast will fuel you through an intense workout. Same goes for training within three hours after lunch or dinner. Never go more than 4 hours without eating something.
Foods with natural color contain antioxidants and vitamins.
If you eat lunch at noon and workout at four, you need to energize that workout by eating a mini-meal or large snack such as a hard-boiled egg and a banana. A few slices of nitrate-free deli meat with a handful of almonds. Two hard-boiled eggs and an apple. A container of high-protein yogurt and 2 apricots. A can of tuna with olive oil and a whole bell pepper or tomato. A smoothie made with whey protein powder and fruit.
Remember those delectable meaffins? They make a great protein-packed post workout snack.
Now is the time to replenish glycogen stores with more low glycemic carbs and help the muscles recover with high quality protein.
Good examples include a whey protein shake mixed with milk or water. A slice of the no-crust Quiche we love (check blog archives). Half of a grilled chicken breast and a small baked sweet potato. A tin of sardines or tuna with olive oil and baby carrots. A cup of cottage cheese with grapes. If breakfast, lunch, or dinner time is shortly after your workout don’t eat twice.
Beqir dead-lifted 405 lbs. I think he made some excellent food choices!
Remember that the amount of water you consumed the day before and the quality of sleep you got the night before combined with your food choices will determine the energy and effort you bring to your workout.