Workout nutrition seems to be complicated. Or perhaps we just tend to overthink it and make it a lot more difficult than it should be? We look at what you should be eating before and after your gym session.
Should you eat before hitting the gym or should you workout in a fasted state? If you do eat, should you eat protein? What is a complex carb and should that be eaten after training or during?
If you find yourself tired and needing energy during a training session or feeling more sore than usual, you may need to up your nutrition game.
What and when you eat can make a difference to recovery and energy levels provided you have all your basics covered.
We are going to look at what to eat before, during and after a training session and give you some recommendations to help you improve and make the most of your time in the gym.
The basics of workout nutrition
For the majority of us, who are exercising for general health, we should first look at what our daily diet consists of.
We want to nail the basics before getting complicated.
Firstly you should be focusing on eating minimally processed foods. That means whole foods like meat and vegetables.
Then think about quantities. Pay attention to your protein, vegetable, carbohydrate and fat intake, essentially you want to make sure you are eating a balanced diet.
You also want to make sure you are eating enough for your activity level and body composition goals. If you want to lose weight you need to be eating less and if you want to gain weight you need to be eating more. Simple.
By eating a healthy, well-considered meal one to two hours before exercise, and another healthy, well-considered meal within one to two hours after exercise, most people can meet their workout nutrition needs without anything else.