Tackling Pre/Post Workout
Andddddd we are back for another fitness debunking session. Today’s topic? Pre/Post workout. This is a big contributor to getting the results you want to see body, strength, and fitness wise. There is a lot of chatter about pre-workout powder, protein supplements, meals for before and after, and what works best. Good thing I’m here to clarify all of this because it can be a TON of information!
Lets dive right into it shall we? Okay so before we go get a pump in at the gym there are some considerations to be had. First being should you eat? YES. That is the easiest answer, now as to what you should actually consume a little more detailed. Food is a source of energy so to maximize your effectiveness while working out you do not want to lift or exercise on an empty stomach. This will cause you to tire quicker, feel less energized, and not maximize the amount of weight you can lift! I understand some people think they will get sick or feel bloated if they eat then go workout so let me get into what we should be eating and when.
I prefer to workout almost first thing after I wake up or around midday. That being said a great pre meal is 2 eggs any style, whole wheat toast with some jam (I like grape), and turkey bacon. These are great sources of protein and healthy carbs like I spoke of in my last post. It is also a smaller meal but filled with what the body will need to get going and not feel bloated or really full. I also try to avoid yogurt, milk, cheese, and other dairy before a workout to avoid stomach aches while exercising. A classic PB&J with a granola bar and some water to wash it down also works as a great pre meal for those of you who don’t have time to cook or workout later in the day. Quick and easy.
On to the pre-workout powder! This is usually for serious lifters, workout extremists, and people struggling to get going. If you’re just starting out or don’t have trouble getting to the gym I recommend staying clear of pre-workout. That being said, what does it do? Well without getting too scientific it has a lot of mg (milligrams) of caffeine per serving, amino acids, and vitamins. These increase transportation of minerals and fluids to the body, increase energy, and muscle protein synthesis. WOW I know a mouth full. You take it and mix it with water or a sports drink and consume it 15–30 minutes before a workout to feel energized and power through it.
Obviously this has side effects like anything else. It can be addictive in the sense your body won’t energize itself if you use it too much, you become dependent on using it to workout. Also, it can cause lack of sleep, jitters, cramps, numbness of face, hands, and feet, headaches, and a few more side effects. No you won’t die from taking it but you want to be as natural as possible because long-term effects are still unknown. So by all means use or try it but just do not rely on it!
Phew I am sweaty and just had one hard workout! I’m hungry and need to refuel but what do I eat? Well I am glad you asked! Post workout meals are just as important as the pre meals. Post workout meals restore energy, provide protein and vitamins to the body to restore and heal muscles for the recovery process. So what is a good post meal? There are a lot of options I am just going to list one for the sake of this. If you have questions or want more just comment below! A grilled chicken breast, whole wheat rice, and roasted vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, etc.) and a big glass of water or milk. This covers all of the food groups and provides the necessary nutrients the body needs for recovery.
Last but not least. Protein powder. A thousand different brands, kinds, flavors, and benefits. These companies love advertising they are the best and healthiest and will give you the most gains. I suggest reading into each brand and reading customer reviews before making your purchase. Also, only get on the protein wagon if you are lifting weights. All my cardio friends out there it won’t give you much benefit. Protein heals muscles quickly by providing them with protein and nutrients needed for quick muscle regeneration.
I personally use Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein. I cycle on it in the spring and use it through summer. I cycle OFF of it during fall and winter. It increases my appetite so focusing on my diet and eating right really comes into play. But it has helped me cut weight and become more cut and lean (I don’t bulk).
TONS of information and tips I know so if you’re still here reading thank you. Hope this helps all of you get to a better and more fit lifestyle, until next time my gym rats! Please comment below with any questions and I will reply to my best ability!