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Nutrition

Are pre / post workout meals effective?

28 Prepost workout meals

I want to listen to your opinion and take about pre / post workout meals, do you think they are effective? or is it just an strategy to sell products?

I do believe that the most important meals of the day are the ones around your workout, specially post workouts meals, when we finish our workout our body starts to recover so we need to make sure that we´re giving it all the nutrients it needs, if your body do not have everything it needs it won´t be possible to recover and your next workout will suffer.

The faster your body starts to recover after the workouts the faster you can get to the gym and hit the same muscles.

During our workouts we lose water, electrolytes, glycogen so our body needs to replenish what our body lost. Being hydrate before, during and after is important but the amount of water will vary, our gender, weight, age and the intensity of our workout needs to be consider to get a more accurate number but around 3.5 liters for guys and 3 liters for girls per day can serve as a guide. Another important thing to consider is that we need to replenish electrolytes like sodium.

Glycogen is the preferred source of energy for our body and it´s the one it uses during intense workouts, to replenish glycogen simple sugars are more effective so the meal right after your workout is the one where you can have simple sugars this is why some guys and girls in the gym take sport drinks and others like gummy bears.

For protein our body does not use it during the workouts but we need to consume enough protein to drive protein synthesis and to keep this protein synthesis consistent some guys and girls take protein around every 2 or 3 hours with protein shakes, proteins bars or meals, whether you want to follow this or not depends of you, if you are following some type of intermittent fasting a protein bar or shake will break your fast, BCAAs can be a solution but just be sure that those BCAAs do not break your fast. What I consider more important is right after your workout, I prefer to take protein shakes right after my workouts and the best way to do it is with just water and protein powder this way our body can absorb it faster, milk and protein powder is also great.

Fat is also important for overall health, if you can cook your post workout meal make sure to add some extra virgin olive oil and you´re good to go.

The macronutrient ratios will vary depending of the type of diet you´re following, if you are on a more balanced diet between proteins, carbohydrates and fats or if you are following a ketogenic diet. If you are keto adapted then you need 50 grams or less per day to replenish glycogen, if you are carb adapted you need around 1 – 2 grams per pound of bodyweight per day.

If you are following some type of intermittent fasting try to schedule your workouts around your meals, if you have lunch and dinner it will be great if you workout before dinner or if you have breakfast and lunch you can workout before lunch or first think in the morning before breakfast but if this is the case consider that not everyone can workout in a fasted state.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam