When it comes to pre and post-workout meals, there are no hard and fast rules. What you eat before and after your workout will depend on your fitness goal whether it be endurance, increased muscle mass or fat loss. However, it is generally recommended that you eat both before and after your workout so that your body has the fuel you need to concentrate and perform better during your workouts and also to replenish any nutrients lost during your workout.
There are three main macronutrients that your body needs – carbohydrates, protein and fat. Each of these macronutrients has different effects on your training when consumed before or after your workout session.
Your pre-workout meal should be eaten at least 20 minutes before you work out or up to 2 hours prior to your workout. If you are planning to eat 2-3 hours before your workout, you may need a small snack in between to help refuel your body. Generally, the closer to the workout that you eat, the smaller the meal should be.
During your exercise session, energy stores (glycogen) are depleted, electrolytes are lost through sweat and muscle tissues sustain micro damage. The aim of post-workout meals is to replenish depleted glycogen, aid in muscle recovery and restore fluid and electrolyte balance. After a hard workout a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein is usually recommended. It is also important to note that during hard workouts that you can lose anywhere between 0.5 – 2L of sweat. Post-workout hydration is very important and it is generally recommended that you drink 0.5L to 1L of water after your workout to avoid dehydration and to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.
Dr Linda Schiller is a certified in sports chiropractic.
Whatever your fitness goals are, it is important to fuel your body before your workout and replenish lost nutrients after your workout. At Lakeside Chiropractic we can offer you nutritional advice and treatment which compliments your fitness goals. Our Chiropractors are registered with all health care providers which means you can claim your money straight back through the HICAPS machine on site. If you have any further questions or would like to book an appointment, give us a call on 9300 0095 or head to our website to book at www.lakesidechiro.com.au.
1. Venkatraman JT, Feng X, Pendergast D. Effects of dietary fat and endurance exercise on plasma cortisol, prostaglandin E2, interferon-gamma and lipid peroxides in runners. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Oct;20(5):529-36. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2001.10719062. PMID: 11601568.Schedule an Appointment