Welcome to Episode 11: Pre and Post Workout Nutrition
In today’s episode, Nav and I discuss pre and post workout nutrition.
As strength and conditioning coaches, these are some of the most common questions that we get.
- What should I eat?
- How long before the workout?
- What should it contain?
- What about after?
So let’s get into it!
This is where context matters.
There are two common scenarios for those working out.
Person A needs to potentially lose some body fat. Person B doesn’t. They both want to have an effective training session (improve their performance, gain strength, etc.)
Nav would have Person A train in a fasted state.
This wouldn’t improve their performance in the workout, but long term it will help them be more insulin sensitive. Insulin sensitivity tends to correlate with leanness. This can be due to a number of factors, but from a pragmatic standpoint, if you’re internal signalling is better you’re less likely to overeat, for example. Insulin resistance, on the other hand, tends to correlate with overweight and obesity. Obesity research is very complex – this is a rough guide.
Person B would generally do the following:
Eat a normal meal. An hour or an hour and a half before the workout, is enough.
What is a normal meal? A palm of protein, 2 fists of vegetables, and whatever fat you like to sprinkle on the top.
You’re giving your body whatever it needs to perform at a high intensity level, for whatever activity you’re doing.
If you’re engaging in 90+ minute endurance training your needs will be a bit different. The above guide is for most of the rest of the population who aren’t in that long endurance category – regular gym-goers, most sports, Crossfit, for example.
Back to Person A the one who is carrying a bit of extra weight. Person A has trained hard, so the suggestion is a meal containing carbohydrates (e.g. fruit or fruit juice) and protein. We want protein to rebuild and repair muscle tissue. We do still want carbs to replenish blood glycogen. Following the carb intake insulin will be spiked. This will aid the absorption of the protein.
Later on, maybe 1/2 hour or an hour later, have a normal meal.
Person B: Just have the normal meal.
Pre and post workout nutrition can seem (and be!) confusing.
The bottom line is, your goals will determine your course. Use the KISS principle, or micromanage, depending on your personality type! In either case – Eat Real Food!
Yours in good health,
Tim & Nav