How important is eating right while working out?
In one word, extremely. Without proper nutrition before your Workout, you will not have enough energy to do your exercises with full vigor.
If you don’t know how to keep yourself hydrated and energized during your workout, then you will not be able to complete your full exercise regimen and even risk injuring yourself. And without the proper knowledge of what foods and nutrients to eat after working out, you will not be able to remodel your body the way you desire.
Your muscle gains will be sluggish or non-existent with proper nutrition aiding your workout.
Now for bodybuilding, there are 2 types of food groups that you can utilize to your advantage. They are proteins and carbohydrates. However, people often avoid fats totally and that is not a good thing. For heavier gains and a longer duration workout, healthy fats can work wonders.
The subtle science of eating to lose weight
Yes, it is not only possible to lose weight by eating more but eating the right foods will help you achieve the maximum from your workouts.
Just a little understanding of basic science will go a long way in knowing the fundamental biochemistry of your body. Before getting on the diets and nutrition, I believe that a small science knowledge would be much beneficial for understanding the logic behind these diets.
This basic theory can then be put to practical use in your workout and diet to achieve the maximum effectiveness from your gym visit. In this way, you can properly improve your health and sculpt your physique according to your desire.
So without wasting any more precious time, let us first understand the three basic types of food categories that are the most important while building your body.
These three are Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats. The amount of these three food categories that you should include in your diet depends on the type of body that you want to sculpt.
If you have a working knowledge of cameras then these three can be compared with the ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed. For a proper picture, the way that you have envisioned it, you must fine-tune each of the three. Similarly, you can achieve the physique that you have envisioned by fine-tuning the amount of carbohydrate, protein, and fat that you include in your diet.
First, let us talk about carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates for Workout
Carbs are the human body’s most preferred source of energy and are of two types; simple and complex carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates are digested at a slower rate than simple carbohydrates and hence provide a more stable and sustained form of energy than simple carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are digested at an accelerated pace and hence provides a short burst of energy but leave a craving once the energy has wared off. For this reason, simple carbohydrates are consumed just prior to a workout and provide an almost immediate burst of energy for short durations. Some examples of simple carbohydrates are cakes, candies, carbonated drinks, chocolate, jams, fruit juice concentrates, table and brown sugar, most packaged cereals, anything baked from white flour, etc.
Complex carbohydrates release energy in a slow and sustained manner and hence will last throughout your workout. Thus for the purpose of working out, complex carbohydrates are what you should eat preferably. Some examples of complex carbs are yam, wholemeal flour, apple, banana, soybean, spinach, potato, onions, oatmeal, orange, multi-grain bread, lemon, low-fat yogurt, cabbage, carrot, brown rice, broccoli, etc.
TIP- Carbohydrates provide you with energy and if you feel that you are not having enough energy to carry your workout routine properly, then taking complex carbs before you workout will help you a lot.
This is just a brief blurb regarding carbohydrates which should be enough knowledge for planning your workout meal. But it is always better to know more and you can research more about carbohydrates. Now let us move onto the next food group, and perhaps the most important for building your body, Proteins.
Proteins for Workout
While the role of carbohydrates was to provide energy for your workout routine and delay fatigue, proteins help your body to repair any internal or external damage.
When you are working out, you are essentially tearing and breaking your muscle fibers apart. When the muscle fibers get rebuilt, they get better, stronger and generally bigger. Thus proteins play the major role in rebuilding your muscles and the more you workout, the more proteins you will be needing.
TIP- If you experience that even after working out properly, your muscle growth is slow or improper then the most probable reason could be that you are not taking enough protein in your diet.
Also, after your workout, consuming some carbs along with protein will make your body utilize the protein most effectively.
Fats for Workout
Fat is densely packed in calories and provides a much more concentrated source of energy than carbohydrates and proteins.
Hence, if you are looking for sick gains then it is impossible without fats. However, that being said there are two types of fats and you should avoid one of them as much as possible. They are saturated and unsaturated fat.
Saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature and are found in animal, dairy and packaged products and some other oils. By the rule of the thumb, saturated fats should be avoided as they could be a risk factor for heart diseases.
Unsaturated fats, however, tend to be liquid at room temperature. They tend to be generally safer and it has been observed that eating food high in unsaturated fat content can help reduce cholesterol. Some examples are hazelnuts, corn oil, pumpkin seeds, soybean and sunflower oil, walnuts, shrimp, sardine, trout, salmon, etc.
Each food category is needed by the human body and should be consumed. What is important is to balance the ratio of consumption of these foods. Each individual, because of the personal genetics and habits requires different amounts of these foods.
That is why it is important for you to experiment and play around with the ratio. You could try playing within the following ratio and adopt which suits best for you.
That is the basic template, which you can modify based on your own experience.
If you are interested in the topic and want to know more about it then click on the following image to download my book on Amazon. In the book, I discuss:
- Some of the tried and tested pre-workout diets and recipes
- What to eat during the workout
- Some post-workout diets
- Various bodybuilding foods that you can use to create your own workout menu plan
- What metabolism is and how you can increase yours.
Download it on Amazon by clicking the below link or picture( showing the cover of my book).