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Guest Blog: Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

What you have before and after your workout are just as important as your workout.

Health & Fitness // Tiffany and Kara // 08/21/12
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Tiffany and Kara of Petite Physique.

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Here it is an excellent guide for how to feed your body exactly what it needs pre and post workout. A lot of people—even seasoned athletes for that matter—are often wrong or unsure about what to eat before and after a workout.

Pre-Workout Nutrients

Your body needs the correct amount of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fat) for optimum performance. Most people think it’s okay to skip eating before a workout, but that causes your body to break down good fats, followed by muscle. This is just counterproductive!

Nutrient-dense complex carbs are the best pre-workout meal; it's best to ingest complex carbs at least 15 minutes before your scheduled workout. Glucose, the main type of sugar in the blood created by the breakdown of carbohydrates, is the preferred energy source for most exercises. A high glycemic carbohydrate such as brown rice cake with soy cheese would be just fine.
If you have a few hours before your workout, you want to have enough energy to make it through (a combo of protein, carbs, and fat.)

• A handful of almonds, a pear, and a glass of almond milk
• 20 grams of hemp protein mixed with 10oz of fresh juice
• Almond or your favorite nut butter with apples
• Kale salad with avocado and green peas
• Tiffany’s favorite is to have a natural sports drink, like Vega Sport Performance Optimizer. It’s vegan and is designed to give your body sustained energy while reducing inflammation. That speeds up the recovery process, enabling more frequent workouts.
• If your workout is really long, keep a banana, apple, or orange handy for continued nutrition throughout the exercise. It won’t feel heavy and gives you continued energy.

Post Workout Recovery Nutrients:

If you think drinking chocolate milk after your workout is good, then think again: It’s full of high-fructose corn syrup. Try these ideas instead:

1. Respect your fuel window. Your muscles are primed to receive fuel to start the repair process during the 15-60 minutes after your workout. Eat or drink your recovery meal right away!
2. Make sure it’s easy to digest. Your muscles need blood to deliver nutrients to them. Let’s say you eat a hot dog—your blood gets tied up in digesting the hot dog and less gets to your muscles.
3. Consume .75 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight and include protein in a 4:1 or 5:1 carb-to-protein ratio. Now who the heck understands all those numbers, right? Your carbs just need to include high-glycemic index carbs like glucose (dates are a good example), and some slower-release, even fibrous, carbohydrates as well. Lastly don’t forget the fat! Include about half as many grams of healthy fat as you do protein. Examples: Flaxseed and hemp oils.
4. Get out of the acid state with greens or other vegetables. After your intense workout session, your body is in an acidic enviroment. You need to neutralize it or your body will use the calcium from your bones and nitrogen from your muscle tissue. Foods that have a neautralizing affect on the body include greens, sprouted vegetables, lemons and limes. Heavily-processed protein powders like the ones at the gym are acid forming so it’s better to use a minimally processed powder like hemp powder. I got mine from Trader Joes and I love it!
5. Drink two cups of water per pound of body weight lost during exercise. You need water so drink up!
6. Replace lost electrolytes. When you sweat, you lose electrolytes (the little conductors that transmit electrical impulses to your body.) You need to replace them with good sources like fruit or dulse flakes. Even a few pinches of sea salt works.
7. Nourish your adrenal glands. During your workout, your adrenal glands work hard to release hormones to help you perform. To help them recover add a teaspoon of ground maca to your post-workout fuel.
8. Drink Petite Physique’s Power Lemonade. We made this to replace a sugary sports drink. Check out the recipe here.

Not only will fueling your body right before and after your workouts make your workouts better but you'll see a huge change in your body inside and out! After all, we want to give our body what it needs since we are putting it through all those grueling workouts, right?

Missed last week's Petite Physique guest post? Read it now!

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