Food is fuel, there is absolutely no doubt about it.
But yet somehow over time we have started to develop a different opinion about its role in our life.
You will probably have noticed the increased attention to food over the past decade. This is great, because now we are more open to sharing recipes and ideas, highlighting that healthy can be nutritious and delicious at the same time.
Thanks to advancements in technology food is much more pleasurable, an art form almost. It’s also a very big part of our social lives and social media material, the fact that #foodporn is a very commonly used and understood word should speak volumes to that fact, also proving that it consumes a very big part of our minds, not just our bodies.
To eliminate the huge amount of conflicting nutritional information there is out there, I always recommend that my clients think of their food as fuel, that’s it. Everything from a cookie or cake to a lettuce leaf is a make up of macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals). So no, not all fuel comes with the same energy potential or even nutrient breakdown, but, it’s all fuel.
Pre and post workout nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated. Instead, you just need to ensure you atry tore getting a range of nutrients to fuel your goals, be it fat loss, muscle gain or a little of both.
Here are a few tips based around eating to fuel before and after your workouts:
Protein is amazing and is made from amino acids. We are amino acid built organisms so it’s imperative for us to consume them, not just for our muscles, but also for our hair, skin, nails, all connective tissue really. I try to eat protein with nearly every meal, accept in the cases of an in-between-meal green juice or green salad where I am just trying to increase my greens consumption. If you don’t achieve balanced and adequate amino acid consumption you will also find that you recover slower which will ultimately slow down your results and could leave you feeling really tired.
Carbohydrates are used for more than just energy, they actually help your muscles to recover through replenishing depleted glycogen stores in the muscles that occurred during the workout. Glycogen is the primary fuel your muscles use for energy production so it’s extremely important to replenish it. Maybe now you can understand why you got so tired during that low-carb diet. Consume your carbohydrates therefore around workouts.
Essential fatty acids are imperative for recovery from training. Essential because the body can’t produce them by itself, it needs additional help. These two essential fatty acids are linoleic and Alpha-linoleic, these fatty acids are used to create specialised fats called Omega 3 and Omega 6. As well as disease prevention these fatty acids are also responsible for recovery. The faster you recover from your workouts, the more intense your training regime can be, the more intense your regime the better and more efficient the results.