Pre and post workout foods
September 22, 2011 10:20 PM
Anyone that works out has heard a pontificate of different dietary plans from a variety of people, all vowing that compliance breeds results, and that anything else is a waste of your time.
Mostly, people in the know seem to follow a similar pattern of suggesting plenty of protein, but a few experts had some input:
Kyle Hackett, a gym enthusiast currently pursuing a degree in economics, gives some advice. He recommends a meal composed of a lean protein source (such as chicken breasts or egg whites) and slow-digesting carbohydrates consumed around two hours before going to the gym.
He recommends sweet potatoes, brown rice, or multigrain bread as a good slow-digesting carb, and he also recommends some fruit for good measure.
His current pre-workout meal is a banana, one cup of oatmeal mixed with one scoop chocolate protein, and a multivitamin.
For post-workout he suggests a whey protein shake consumed immediately after physical activity, as this protein is processed most quickly – providing optimal recovery.
This post-workout shake should be followed in about an hour by a meal composed of lean protein, carbohydrates, and green vegetables. His post-workout meal is two filets of tilapia and two cups of broccoli.
Professor Jamieson – who teaches sports nutrition – offers a more academic approach to workout nutrition, suggesting a more balanced approach.
She recommends, “A balanced meal. The main source of energy is carbohydrates. A good source of carbohydrates, complemented by protein, and low to moderate fat.”
While most people feel protein is the most important part of workout nutrition, carbohydrates are also very important.
Jamieson elaborates, “Carbohydrates fuel physical activity, protein helps rebuild tissues – but carbohydrates give you the energy to do the workout.”
Regarding protein, Jamieson states that one gram of protein to each kilogram of body weight is the recommended intake, although those that partake in bodybuilding or power sports typically should increase their input to 1.5 – 2 grams per kilogram of body weight. So, in reality there is no perfect post- or pre-workout food.
Instead, there is a customizable meal balanced on protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Jamieson states that the average western diet contains a lot of meat, so for the average person trying to stay active, the protein in their diet alone should be enough.
This is all great, but sometimes it is more affordable for those trying to build muscle mass to utilize protein supplements.
A 75kg person who wants to build muscle mass would, at the maximum, desire 150g of protein each day.
That would be five chicken breasts a day!
Sounds expensive for a student. This is where supplements come in.
However, Jamieson warns of single amino acid supplements, as amino acids compete for absorption.
An overload of just one amino acid crowds out other essential ones, adversely affecting performance.
At the end of the day, it’s important to stick to a balanced diet.
And, if you need supplements, ensure you select one that contains all the amino acids you need.
Food is always desired over supplements, so if you can naturally supply all the nutrients you need through food, you should choose that over opting for supplements.