In my last article, I discussed the importance of building lean muscle mass and the overall effect it can have not only toward helping you lose weight but also in allowing you to enjoy an overall higher quality of life.
In this article, I am going to follow up those benefits by giving you some pre and post workout meal tips that can help you maximize the work you are putting in and in turn build lean muscle.
Before we get started I would just like to note the importance of getting proper nutrition around your workout. First off, in order to get the most out of your workout, you should be fueling it properly. Our body’s main source of energy comes from carbohydrates in our diet.
Next, during strength training and other exercises that place stress upon your body in excess of what it is used to, your muscles actually break down to a degree and get tiny micro-tears in the muscle tissue. Proper pre and post workout supplementation can help rebuild muscle tissue through a process called protein synthesis. This can also help you reduce the amount of soreness you feel after a workout and will help you get ready for your next workout.
With that being said, let’s jump into what your pre and post-workout meals should include, as well as the timing of these meals for maximum results.
Pre Workout Meal
As I mentioned above, carbohydrates are our body’s main source of energy. The carbohydrates we consume in our diet are broken down and through a number of different processes creating ATP. ATP is a usable form of energy for our cells and is the energy that powers all of our bodily activities.
So, because carbohydrates are so important for energy production, it is important that our bodies have a sufficient amount of this macronutrient to power us through our workouts. This will prevent your body from breaking down lean muscle tissue, which contains glycogen that can also be converted into energy, in excess.
To further prevent excess muscle breakdown and promote muscle recovery after your workout, it is also important to include proteins in your pre-workout meal.
I recommend getting a serving of both protein and a mix of simple and complex carbohydrates about 45 minutes to 2 hours before your workout in order to give you the energy you need during your workout and to prevent your muscles from over breaking down.
Sources of each of these could include: IdealShake with fruit, oatmeal with honey and cottage cheese, egg whites in a whole wheat tortilla with fruit
Post Workout Meal
As I also mentioned earlier, as we participate in strength training and other forms of high-intensity exercise, our muscle fibers break down and we get tiny micro tears in our muscle tissue. By getting quality sources of protein in our diet, especially those high in leucine, we can jump-start the recovery process through protein synthesis, which will rebuild muscle tissue so that it is stronger than it was before training.
Whey protein is a great choice for post workout supplementation because it is high in leucine and is utilized by the body quickly and efficiently. Fast-digesting carbohydrates are also a good choice after a workout and can speed up the digestion process as well as refill glycogen stores in the muscle tissue and glucose levels in the body.
It is also important to note that both your pre and post workout meals should include foods that are low in fats. This because fat will slow digestion, preventing your body from getting important proteins and carbs as soon as possible.
This meal should be eaten within about 45 minutes after your workout to best promote protein synthesis.
Now for the Workout
Now that you know what you should be getting into your body before and after your workout, all you need is a quality workout program. If you are trying to lose unwanted fat and build lean muscle, we highly recommend taking our IdealShape Up Challenge.
When you accept the challenge we send you daily workouts that incorporate both strength training and metabolic workouts to help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals. Oh yeah, the challenge is also completely free! All you have to do is click on the banner below and sign up.