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Home / Tips and Tricks / Should you eat before or after training? A dietician weighs in

Should you eat before or after training? A dietician weighs in



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In the era of intermittent fasting, food trends, keto and more, nutritional information can quickly become confusing. And that makes it even more difficult to decide what to eat before training. Should it be a ketoarmer snack ? Or maybe a high protein paleo ? No matter which nutritional philosophy you follow, you want to eat something that will energize you during your workout and give you energy and help you reach your fitness goals.

How do you know what's best for you? I've contacted an expert who knows how to refuel performance: Rasa Troup, a former Olympic Dietician specializing in sports and nutritional nutrition. Even if you are not an athlete, the following tips and scientific insights will help you better understand how you can recharge your batteries and recover from your training .

Should you eat before training?

If you eat before training, some people are unappetizing, while others would rather have something to eat in their system to strengthen themselves during a workout. But although it depends on the person (or whether) you eat before exercise, you should consider some important guidelines when deciding whether to eat or not.

First, if you're really training You may not even have time to think about food in the early hours of the morning, let alone prepare anything before you go out the door. But exercising on an empty stomach may not do you any good.

According to Troup, the science of fasting is inconclusive, and she does not necessarily recommend it to her clients. After their experience with customers, they can not train so hard when they have some fuel first. She says that shorter or less intense workouts do not do much of a after-burn effect that helps your body burn more fat, even when you're done with training.

Still, Troup says that some people work out on an empty stomach because there is some evidence that it helps your body to burn about 20 percent more fat during exercise. While that may sound promising, Troup says, if you find you feel bad while fasting or recover harder, it's not worth the potentially greater benefit of burning fat.

The best things to eat before exercise

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Greek yogurt and fruit are an example of a pre-workout snack containing protein and carbohydrates.


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Fueling your workout is not an exact science. Although some foods are known to provide more energy and support your muscles (eg protein and carbohydrates), you want to choose foods that you know are easily digestible and do not cause stomach problems (unless You want to stop it) Mid-workout for a bathroom break … no one said yet).

Protein and Carbohydrates are your key nutrients when it comes to fueling workouts because carbohydrates energize your muscles and protein helps your muscles repair faster. The best way to recharge your workout is to have a protein and carbohydrate meal that Troup says you eat about three to four hours before your workout.

If it's been a while since your last meal and you want to boost yourself Try measuring your energy with a pre-workout snack one to two hours before training. This snack should contain easily digestible carbohydrates such as grains, fruits or vegetables and protein from sources such as milk, meat or protein powder (such as collagen peptides or whey protein isolate). Troup offered a banana with peanut butter or Greek yogurt with some fruit as an example.

Foods that should not be taken before exercise.

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The fiber makes it hard to digest in Brilli You may want to avoid it before training.


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One thing that's really good for your health, but not for your workout? Dietary fiber. "Try to avoid bulky, fibrous foods that may be in your stomach (like broccoli, cruciferous vegetables or beans) .You would like to have some foods that will not complain [by sitting] so that blood flow into your stomach will drain your stomach – you You want the blood to flow into your muscle tissue, "said Troup.

The same goes for high-fat foods (including those of the healthy variety), as fat digestion takes longer, which means that your stomach interferes with the blood flow you want to make to your muscles to improve your exercise performance.

Is timing important?

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The "30-minute" rule states that drinking protein within 30 minutes of exercise is best for repairing and restoring muscle.


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If you've ever seen someone walking out of the gym at a protein shake, they're probably signing the popular "30-minute rule," which for many is the ideal window for many to consume protein after exercise. But is it important to crush protein immediately after exercise?

According to Troup, science is behind this window (it lets its pro-athlete customers eat 25 grams of protein 15-30 minutes after training), but for the average person who is not a professional athlete or is training for an endurance marathon Triathlon, it's not that important. "Most of us have 24 hours to recover from session to session, so a particular 30-minute window is not that important," Troup said.

Not that protein is not important after exercise – it definitely is. But, according to Troup, it's better if you consume enough protein throughout the day through balanced meals rather than worrying about reaching the 30-minute window. This is because daily consumption of enough protein can promote muscle repair and good muscle composition. Troup recommends 20-50 grams of protein per meal (depending on your size, muscle size and weight).

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What to Eat After Exercising

Your post-workout meals should be similar to a pre-workout meal: they are rich in vegetables and fruits and contain healthy proteins and fat. As Troup has already mentioned, protein is of great importance for muscle repair. So if you consume it after training, the healing process is promoted. Carbohydrate consumption is also important because you probably used it out of your energy stores during exercise.

"They need both protein and carbohydrates to repair the muscle damage," says Troup.

How nutritional supplements can help

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Supplementing with a protein powder can be helpful if you have little time and need fast fuel.


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Although Troup follows a food-first approach when it comes to nutrition, she notes that dietary supplements can be a helpful tool. In particular, collagen peptides, nitrates (derived from beets) and whey protein.

The consumption of collagen peptides before training, such as. Adding to your coffee, for example, can be particularly helpful as it contains proteins that help build muscle. Collagen can also help in preventing injury during exercise. Nitrates (found in beets) have been shown to improve performance and endurance, but it is not necessary to chug tons of beet juice, as supplements or concentrated shots may help to make nitrates more efficient.

Troup also recommends an emergency whey protein Milk is helpful for muscle growth. "We also know that milk seems to be the biggest stimulator of muscle protein synthesis, so eating chocolate milk or whey protein isolate is a great way to enhance muscle protein," said Troup.


The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a disease or health goals.


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