If you have just started training, or would like to know what is best nutrition-wise before and after exercising, then this post is for you. The popular belief is that supplements and workout powders will give you what you need to train at your best, but the reality is that you can get pretty much everything you need from whole foods and simple snacks. This is both a cheaper and healthier way to approach exercise nutrition, and will help you feel your best even after smashing it in the gym.
Here is a guide to the recommended nutrition pre- and post-workout when doing strength training. For a more detailed look, check out this infographic.
Strength training is typically weights training. Whether you are training weights to gain muscle mass or just to improve your all-round strength it is important to include some protein in what you eat to encourage muscle repair and get the maximum from your session.
When having a meal before working out, have it 1-2 hours before, and aim for 75% carbs & 25% protein.
- Egg white omelette with spinach, toast and milk
- A smoothie with fruit, milk and protein powder
- Greek yoghurt with banana, nuts and honey
30-60 mins beforehand, low GI foods like fruit, beans and grains make a good snack.
After your session, you only need a moderate amount of protein combined with carbohydrates to kickstart the recovery and muscle repair process. About 10-20g of protein within the 2 hour period after you exercise should do the job. It’s always better to opt for whole foods rather than processed or packaged foods which have much less fibre and a lot more sugars.
- Chocolate protein shake with protein powder, milk and a banana.
- Avocado with cottage cheese and tomato.
- Whole foods in moderate amounts such as eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, greek yoghurt.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our nutrition guide, covering cardio training.