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Nutrition

Is meal timing important?

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There´s a lot of controversy about intermittent fasting and when is the right time to eat for losing fat, gaining muscle or just health in general. Some experts say that it´s better to have a big meal immediately after finishing your workout, others prefer to wait some time before eating.

Two important factors I consider for meal timing is hunger and recovery. Hunger levels may be hard to control and if you are trying to lose weight it gets harder to stay on a caloric deficit if you are hungry. Exercise increase hunger, the more intense and the more work you do the more hungry you get, exercise like HIIT or high volume resistance training will increase hunger more than steady state cardio or low volume.

There´s people that do not have problems with hunger, they do not get hungry after training so it´s easier for them to exercise and go a couple hours without food.

 If you finish your workout and you are able to stay a couple hours without food and that works great for you continue, you do not need to change your meal schedule.

Recovery is a crucial factor in fitness, people talk about over training and how to avoid it, nutrition is key for recovery, if you give enough nutrients to your body it will be able to recover from training, the faster you give nutrients to your body the faster it starts to recover.  The more you wait after you training is done, the more time it will take for your body to recover.

What I recommend is that you have a big meal right after your workout make that meal big with enough protein, fats and carbohydrates. Consuming fast digesting carbohydrates after your workouts will help your muscle replenish the glycogen lost. Scheduling your meals around your workout is what I consider the best option, training early in the morning before life get in the way or late night before sleeping are both great options.

Some people love to workout after work, then have dinner an go to sleep, others love to train in the morning in a fasted state, then have breakfast and go to work. Any schedule works if you hit your macros and calories, the problem with most people is dealing with hunger after working out, this is why scheduling your meals can do the trick, if you get hungry it´s better to have a meal.

With intermittent fasting you can exercise early in the morning in a fasted state, then have breakfast and continue with your day, then a couple hours later you can have lunch, or you can skip breakfast, have lunch and exercise after work, then have dinner and go to sleep, there´s no rule just try different options and find out what works best for you.

I consider meal timing to be more important after your training sessions to speed recovery.

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Pam