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Your Guide to Pre- and Post- Workout Fuel

Date: August 25, 2020 Category: Health & Well Being

You may have heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen,” at some point in your fitness journey. The old saying hits an important point: how you fuel your body impacts fitness performance. We want you to feel strong and crush your fitness challenges out at Camp. We also want you to have a healthy relationship with food as it can be an effective tool if meals are planned out correctly.

So, how exactly do you “eat for performance”? These strategies can help fuel you through your workouts (and recover after!). 

Consistency

First and foremost, your calories and macros must be consistent in order for your workout nutrition to be effective. So, work on hitting your caloric and macro count first before attempting to implement any sort of exercise nutrition regimen.

Pre-Workout Nutrition

When finding food to eat before a workout, you want something that will:

You want your pre-workout nutrition to focus on protein and carbohydrates which helps with performance, recovery, and replenishes energy for the next session. 

Intra-workout Nutrition (calories during your working)

This isn’t necessary for individuals who have fueled properly during the day, the day before, or are working out for less than an hour. If you’re working out at a high intensity for longer than 60 minutes and feel your performance is lagging, it might be good to consider an intra-workout supplement that is around 15g protein and 30-45g carbohydrate. As for electrolytes, they’re helpful if you are exercising for longer than 2 hours, sweating excessively or working out in the hot summer. 

Post-Workout Nutrition

Many individuals put a lot of emphasis on post-workout nutrition, for good reason. It can help with recovery, new muscle growth and hydration. You may see people chugging protein shakes immediately after workouts, but that’s not always required to refuel properly. The duration of time that is crucial for you to eat after a workout is actually influenced by your pre-workout intake. If you had a full meal 3-4 hours before working out or a smaller snack within an hour of working out, you have up to 2 hours post-workout to refuel. If you workout in the early morning, in the fasted state, try to eat something as soon as possible after you’re done exercising.

Your post-workout meal doesn’t have to be a shake or smoothie – your body will receive the same benefits whether you are downing a shake or getting your protein from whole-food sources. Try to plan your post-workout meal to be a normal, balanced meal of whole food ingredients with a mix of protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Overall, timing your nutrition around workouts is a more sophisticated practice and should only be considered if you have been hitting your caloric and macro goals consistently. Timing your nutrients around workouts won’t be effective unless you’ve built the foundation of healthy nutritional habits.

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