Workout Foods: What to Eat Before and After a WorkoutFebruary 01, 2018
What to consume before and/or after exercise has become a hot topic. People commonly give particular attention to carbs and protein, however; being a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) helps me stay up-to-date on the latest research involving “workout foods,” especially for the athletic population.
Overall, think PROTEIN!
Protein intake is necessary after a workout, but also beneficial during and before exercise!
- Research shows consuming protein 20 minutes before exercise is better than carbs for increasing energy expenditure
- Protein intake within 30 minutes after a workout is best for muscle recovery, BUT overall, adequate protein intake throughout the day is most important!
- Whey protein is a good option pre and post-workout
A high protein diet has not been shown to have detrimental effects for the general population
- “High” protein diet = 1-1.2g/lb/day (or 2.2g/kg/day)
- “Standard” protein diet = 0.8g/kg/day
Studies show that control groups adding exercise + protein lost the most weight and fat, while maintaining good, lean body mass (muscle mass).
- Nut butters
Consuming carbohydrates is good for exercise, especially before working out. They have a maximized effect when combined with protein before exercise and are needed in your daily diet! But is not an excuse for eating a bunch of junk food!
- For example, carb sources high in refined grains and sugars are good to avoid: bagels, white pasta and bread, chips, baked goods
- Wheat or whole grain pasta or bread
When it comes to my own diet when exercising, I like Quest protein, Lenny & Larry vegan protein cookies, and peanut butter for protein!
Do you have favorite protein brands, nutrition bars, pre or post-workout snacks? Share them in the comments below!