Motivational Monday's (4/29/19)

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Motivational Monday's (4/29/19)

Let's talk about one of my favorite subjects today, "training-based" nutrition! More specifically, how to get the most out of your training via thinking about and putting into practice an optimal diet to perform the best in the gym. What that looks entails for every individual is going to be different but the nutrition QUALITY can look very similar! 

I know most of you have heard either me or someone else say or reference the term "You cannot "out train" a poor diet" this is 100%, without a doubt true, true TRUE. Maybe, if you are brand new to training you might be able to make "some" initial gains in the gym without dialing in your diet BUT let me tell you, your poor diet will catch up to you. You will plateau, you will become inflamed, your joints will ache, your energy will plummet, you will not recover properly and you will cease to make any kind of gains in the gym, no matter WHAT your goals are! 

None of us like "wasted" time. If you are serious about changing the way your body looks and feels, internally and externally, you WILL eventually need to turn to your diet & nutrition to make the necessary changes to achieve what you are looking for. Point. Blank. Now that being said, most of you are already on this path of work hard to dial in your personal nutrition. Learning to understand what quality food looks like and are implementing both the quality & quantity necessary for you to INDIVIDUALLY reach your goals in the gym. 

Soooooooo, let's talk about dialing in the knowledge base even MORE with what small but POWERFUL changes can we make to our diet to drastically impact our performance in the gym and then recovery for optimal muscle growth after the gym. Nutrition determines how much you will "show up" for a workout. When you’re feeling sluggish or tired, you’re less likely to give 100% at the gym. Nutrition also plays a key part in the effect a workout has on your body; it can nourish the cells and aid in muscle growth & recovery, and ultimately weight loss, too.

In terms of deciding on the best foods to eat around working out, it’s important to first consider your planned exercise with its intensity and duration. Ultimately, you want to eat food that will fuel your workout, not sabotage it, and if you’re going to go to a slow, but long restorative yoga class, you don’t want/need to load up on carbs and protein like you would a 2 hr weight lifting biased strength program. Let me explain...

Each "macronutrient" has a specific role before a workout, but studies show that the amount varies based on the length and intensity of your workout. In a nutshell, carbohydrates can help increase glycogen stores when you’re about to do a high-intensity exercise, fat fuels your body for longer workouts that may be less intense & eating protein before working out can help with muscle recovery. Lets dive in PRE & POST workout nutrition for an optimal "fuel tank" leading to optimal results. 

Pre-Workout: Ideally, you want to consume something before working out that’s easy on digestion and something that won’t affect your performance. You want quick, yet lasting energy that will fuel you through your workout, without leaving you feeling wiped out and depleted afterward. For example; if you have a morning workout, try a half or whole fruit, along with a half or one serving of protein. This “protein” could be a true "whole food" protein source or a quality protein powder in its place. If you have an afternoon workout, you most likely have eaten a half of a day’s worth of meals by then. If so, try a half or a whole piece of fruit or any of the pre-workout food ideas listed below. If you have an evening workout, enjoy a half or a whole carbohydrate serving like a sweet potato if it’s been longer than 2 hours since your last meal. The key is to play around with this to see what works best for YOU, as I have mentioned previously, we are all unique snowflakes. 
  • Fresh fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, berries, etc.)
  • White potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, rice cakes
  • Quinoa, oatmeal, millet
  • Whole food based crackers (with little fat in them, as to not slow down the digestibility) 
  • Plain Greek/Icelandic yogurts 
Post-Workout: During exercise, studies have shown that your body uses up the glycogen stores to fuel your muscles and keep you going. So naturally, afterwards, your muscles will most likely be low on glycogen. Your body then works to replenish its stores, by repairing and regrowing the proteins that make up your muscles. Considering good post-workout nutrition is key, and just as important as good pre-workout nutrition. Post-workout foods play an important role in giving your body what it needs to properly replenish, repair & GROW! However, contrary to popular belief, there is not a specific “window” after a workout that you must load up on protein. If you’re consuming the right amount of calories and macronutrient goals for the day, not just in that 30-60 minute post-workout “window”, your body will be on its way to healthy recovery. Your body, in fact, utilizes nutrients from the meal you ate before working out, long after your workout is finished. The post-workout “window” that’s often talked about is actually 1-2hrs, so do not stress about NEEDING that post workout "shake" immediately post workout "OR ELSE". That being said, carbs and protein from whole foods help replenish your glycogen stores, while also promoting muscle protein synthesis. Aim to hit a 3 carb:1 protein serving ratio after working out (carbs, in my opinion are more important to prioritize than protein POST workout) Here are a few post-workout food ideas that I like:
  • Carbs such as sweet potatoes or baked potatoes, rice (white, brown, wild, basmati), beans, VEGGIES, gluten-free bread, Ezekiel bread or crackers, fruit, pasta, quinoa or oatmeal
  • Proteins such as eggs, fish, chicken & numerous other quality animal proteins 

Last but certainly not least and high on my priority list with myself and ALL my clients is dun, dun, dun, proper HYDRATION!!! It’s incredibly important to drink water before, during, and after working out. Staying properly hydrated during training AND throughout the entirety of your day, will help reduce fluid loss, maintain performance, lower sub-maximal exercise heart rate, maintain plasma volume, and reduce heat stress & over-all heat exhaustion. You can also play around with adding BCAA's (branch chain amino acids) to your water during training containing electrolytes and minerals for added hydration. 

SO, how do you gauge if you are drinking enough water throughout the day? Easy, you can do this by examining the color of your pee. If your urine is clear or pale yellow in color, you should be good to go! Lets not forget just assessing how you feel! Feeling dizzy or tired? Time to assess your water consumption! As I have told most if not all of you, water is KING. If you are thirsty, drink water, hungry, drink water, feel any sort of way other than GREAT, drink water and see how you and your body feel shortly afterwards. 💪

There you have it guys and gals! My humble but STRONG opinions on how to make the most out of your hard work you put in in the gym via optimal food choices & hydration. Like I said, none of us like wasted time. Training, without thought or care surrounding your diet is grave mistake. As always, please please reach out to me if you have ANY questions on this topic! I adore you all, get after it, train hard, eat well & kill the day! 

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