What to Eat Pre & Post Training
One of the most important things you can do for your body is to eat properly to support the hard work that you are doing. How you eat after a training session is particularly important and what you choose to put in your body has a massive impact on the way you feel, your recovery, your mood, your immune system and your energy levels. Think of yourself like a car in that the quality of food that goes in will impact the performance of the engine. When you exercise, no matter if it is aerobic or strength training, you have used glycogen (energy stores in your muscles and liver) to fuel at least part of the session as well as body fat. After training, your body is ready to replace those glycogen stores from the foods that you eat. Therefore, the following are important tips:
1. Eat a large snack or meal within 30 minutes of finishing a training session.
2. You need carbohydrate as well as protein post-training in a ratio of 3:1 carbohydrate:protein.
3. The best time to eat carbohydrates is post training. Don’t be afraid to eat carbs!
4. If you don’t eat enough carbs post training, your body will use protein that could be going towards lean muscle mass building.
5. If you are doing intermittent fasting and you train on empty, do not continue to fast after your session.
When we wake in the morning, our cortisol is at it’s highest level for the day. When we train, we increase many of our stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenalin, which is all completely normal. When our cortisol levels are high, that creates that hormone imbalance that is your weight loss enemy, so you can see why dropping your cortisol levels are really important. The easiest way to drop those cortisol levels is to have something small to eat. Research also suggests that training on empty is not great for women, so if you are up early, try half a banana or a date before your session and see if you feel better and stronger in your workout.