Blog series part 1 of 2
Pre workout FUEL
Food is fuel. Once you realize this concept it’s a game changer when it comes to working out! What you eat pre and post workout can either make or break all your efforts. Also if you are training for a specific race or just ready to push yourself further you have got to be spot on with nutrition to get you there! It truly does make all the difference.
The first part of this blog series I will get into pre-workout nutrition. This is tricky and will be different for a beginner who has just started to workout looking to lose weight and tone up vs. an athlete, bodybuilder, or fitness competitor.
You may be surprised to hear that for the beginner just starting to workout or for most people who do moderate exercise 3-5x a week I suggest eating nothing at all before the workout and exercising first thing in the morning. Working out in this fasted state forces your body to shed fat. The combo of fasting and exercising maximizes the breakdown of fat and glycogen for energy.
This type of training will result in a reduction of body weight and body fat. Your body will not have carb stores to draw from so instead it will get plenty of fuel from stored fat. You are activating stored fat for fuel. Fat is our second back up fuel supply when carbs are not present. This is a perfect mechanism our own body does on its own to burn fat.
This type of training will lead to greater fat loss and definition in the muscles.
The key with this concept is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and use common sense! Remember it will take the body time to adjust so try it for a few days. If you find you are getting nauseous or light-headed than grab something small before your workout like ½ a banana and a handful of raw almonds.
Another thing to remember is that the meal the night before should be made up of healthy fats, clean protein, and complex carbs such as a sweet potato. If you have junk food for dinner fasting the following morn is just not a good idea. This fasting before exercise concept only goes along with an already healthy lifestyle!
For the more advanced athlete, heavy lifter, or fitness competitor exercising on an empty stomach can be dangerous. You need far more energy reserves of complex carbs and fats because most likely you will burn through both. Your pre workout fuel really starts the night before you exercise. Carb-loading is NOT the most beneficial way to lose fat, gain muscle, and boost performance altogether. Your meal should contain complex carbs from starchy vegetables such as sweet or regular (organic) potatoes or squash, clean organic pastured protein (think-grass fed beef), and plenty of healthy fats such as pastured butter or olive oil .
- clean grass fed plain whey protein mixed with coconut water, berries, and ice.
- 2 pastured eggs cooked to your liking
- organic apple and 2-4 Tablespoons raw almond butter,
- sweet potato with organic pastured butter on top + hard-boiled egg
- Organic full fat plain grass fed yogurt with berries and nuts
- organic coffee + 1 Tablespoon coconut oil + 1 tablespoon raw cream and hard boiled eggs
- 1 banana rolled in chia seeds plus handful of raw nuts or avocado
All of these are suggestions of protein/fat combo and good carbs not from grains but from fruit/veggies.
When grabbing that pre workout snack/meal there are 3 three important factors of fitness nutrition to always keep in mind
SUFFICIENT PROTEIN/HIGH-FAT/LOW-CARB DIET.
In order to build muscle, you need calories, but there’s compelling evidence showing that calories from healthy fats are far better than calories from carbohydrates!!!!!! Don’t skimp on healthy fats. Take out the grains and swap for fat. Ditch the white pasta and think avocado’s, raw nuts , and nut butters.
2. GETTING ENOUGH ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS.
Amino acids should come in the form of whole foods NOT SUPPLEMENTS. Think raw pastured milk and dairy, pastured eggs, organic grass fed meats, wild fish.
3. MEAL TIMING.
Your pre meal is fuel should be timed right to keep you functioning at optimal level. Try 30 -60 min pre workout.
Your post meal is crucial to start repair and regrowth of muscle. In my next blog I will expand on POST workout recovery meals. Exactly what foods are best and when to eat after your workout.
Sources: mercola.com, draxe.com, bengreenfieldfitness.com