AXIOM University : Pre & Post Workout Fuel and Recovery

January 23, 2012

To maximize your workouts you need to how to properly fuel your body to have the right amount of energy during the workout and recover your muscles to prevent soreness and damage.

Pre-Workout Fuel:

Your body needs to be properly fueled with the right combination of carbohydrate, proteins, and fats in your blood stream. It is critical to have this fuel in your body prior to a vigorous training session. If you don’t you run the risk of fainting, feeling nausea, drop in blood sugar, muscle damage, and headache.

Your food plan for the day should revolve around your workout. If you train in the morning you must have something in your system. Don’t run on an empty stomach.

  • 30 minutes prior to training: gel pack, half banana, or carbohydrate/electrolyte drink (coconut water)
  • 60-90 minutes prior to training: yogurt/cottage cheese with fruit, tbsp natural nut butter
  • 2-3 hours prior to training: meal packed with protein, grains, and veggies

Post Workout Fuel

What happens in your body after your workout is just as important as what happens during.
In fact, it’s almost more important because you can’t stop what’s happening in your body
during your workout, but you can control what’s happening after.

Unlike a car engine that stops using gas after your drive is over, your body continues to use body fuels after your exercise session has completed.

Your body keeps moving, repairing, and replenishing immediately after you’re done
exercising. Also, the damage you caused to your muscles during your workout continues to be damaging for several hours afterwards. That’s why your muscle soreness is not felt until the next day or the day after that because it takes time to set in.

If you fail to take in the right combination of nutrients right after your workout, your body
doesn’t have the tools necessary to stop this muscle damage and begin refueling your
body’s energy stores.

But, many people take this window of opportunity for granted and miss out on one of the
most important times to refuel, repair and regenerate your body.
Eating correctly after your workout also helps with fat loss.

Two Important Nutrition Principles of Post-Workout Recovery

There are two major nutrition principles that influence how you recover and repair after a hard workout:

  • The timing of what you eat
  • The composition of what you eat

Timing: After your workout, there is only a short period of time that you can properly activate your body’s repair and rebuilding processes. If you don’t eat the right foods at the right times after you exercise, your muscles will be in a constant state of breakdown and your fuel stores will not be adequately replenished. This will leave you too sore and too tired to exercise again anytime soon (like tomorrow or even the next day).

This “window of opportunity” has been shown by some of top sports nutrition researchers in the world to occur between 15 minutes and 45 minutes following your exercise session.

This is because your muscles are most receptive to nutrients at this time. They’ll take up
nutrients as quickly as a child will eat chocolate! And that’s fast!

Instead of sending nutrients to fat cells for storage, your muscles will quickly use these
nutrients to repair, rebuild and make you feel energetic again.

However, after 60 minutes, your body’s ability to replenish the glycogen you used and muscle protein you damaged is greatly lost. And by lost, we mean it’s gone and it’s going to take you at least twice as long to recover after your workout then it would if you took in the right nutrients at the right time.

Another important aspect of nutrient timing is stopping your blood glucose levels from dropping. If your blood sugar drops because you waited too long to eat (more than 45- 60 minutes) after exercise, you’re going to be cranky, shaky and incredibly hungry. So hungry in fact that you might not want to stop eating when you get started!
And if you can’t control what you’re eating, or eat more than you need, you’re not going to win the fat loss battle. Sure, you may gain muscle, but it’ll be covered by a thick layer of fat.

Composition: By “composition” we’re referring to both the type of food you should eat after you exercise and the amount. As you know now from reading the first section of this report (even if you just read the summary), your body mostly uses carbohydrate during your workout for energy.

So, one of the most important fuels for you to replace is carbohydrate.

But it can’t be just any carbohydrate. It has to be carbohydrate that can be absorbed by the body fairly quickly, and in turn, initiate a release of insulin from your pancreas.

When quick-digesting carbs are eaten, and a lot of insulin is released within 15 to 30
minutes after exercise, your body can store twice as much glycogen as it could if you ate an hour or more later.

It also can stop muscle protein breakdown dead in its tracks and start the process of muscle protein repair.

If you wait too long to take in nutrients after exercise, you’ll actually lose muscle protein in addition to other proteins in your body, like metabolic enzymes. And, that’s not what we want.

How to refuel and recovery your body after a workout:

  • 15-30 minutes after workout must have a recovery drink
  • 60 minutes after drink have a small meal with protein(nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese) and carbohydrates ( fruit, veggie)
  • 90 minutes after that have a well balanced meal protein (fish, chicken, steak) carbohydrate (grains & veggies)

Click the image below for an easy, effective recovery drink while on the go!

Follow these guidelines and you fuel your body properly. You will gain muscle and lose fat!

Feel free to email axiomhealthfitness@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns.

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