A Guide to Nutrition: What to Take Before, During, and After Workout

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Achieve maximum sports results by fine-tuning the five stages of the nutrient intake program, including pre- and post-training complexes.

Author: Max Riley

Nutrients that enter the body before, during and after exercise have a tremendous impact on energy metabolism, the intensity of the training process and the rate of recovery. In this article I will tell you how to use food and nutrients competently, in order to ensure maximum benefit from each training session.

I note that the intake of food and sports preparations before and after training should be approached from the point of view of nutrients influence on two stages of the training process: the intensity of energy metabolism and the rate of recovery.

At the first stage, we are striving to create the maximum energy reserve, which will allow us to work at the limit of human capabilities from start to finish of the training session. At this stage, we are not talking about a set of muscle mass – the recovery and growth of the musculature begins in the second stage. Of course, there is an opinion that pre-training drugs are involved in muscle growth, but in fact it is not. They only allow us to train harder, and muscle growth is postponed until the recovery stage.

At the second stage, we strive to achieve the maximum anabolic response and minimize the effect of catabolism (decomposition of the muscle protein). We need to make sure that the body is filled with essential nutrients, which are necessary for the recovery and repair of muscle tissue. In addition, we need to replenish the nutrients that came to an end during training.

The program of nutrients intake will be divided into five stages:

Selection of the moment: for 1-3 hours before the training session, depending on the characteristics of your metabolism. People with accelerated metabolism are advised to eat for 1-1,5 hours before training.

Before eating, you should consider eating as a lasting "energy foundation", on which all work will be built in the gym. This meal should provide the body with a continuous inflow of energy, which will allow you to train at the limit of opportunities throughout the training session.

Pre-training meals should fill the body with proteins that are slowly absorbed by carbohydrates and fats. In short, this is a balanced intake of food, rich in nutrients. The ideal source of protein will be low-fat products: fish, chicken or lean red meat (tenderloin). Optimal sources of carbohydrates are unpolished rice, potatoes, pasta, buckwheat or oatmeal. Complex carbohydrates are the most important element of this meal, as it is the gradual release of energy that will give power to muscle contractions. So make sure that the body has received 30-60 g carbohydrates from a reliable source.

The muscle detonator in the pre-training formula!

Selection of the moment: for 15-30 minutes before training

The pre-training complex fills you with energy, creates the right mood and raises the mental focus to overcome the exhausting and ruthless training session. If you at least once tried a quality pre-training complex, you know how dramatically your training changes with the help of this drug. Among the obvious advantages are the colossal energy influx, the maximum concentration of attention, the increase in the volume of performed loads, the increased inflow of blood to the muscles and the growth of peak force.

A quality pre-training complex should contain at least beta-alanine, arginine and stimulants. Beta-alanine takes on the functions of lactic acid buffer and allows you to exercise longer and more intensively. Arginine dilates blood vessels and fills muscles with blood. Stimulants (for example, caffeine) are energized, increase concentration and increase stamina.

Stage 3. Nutrient intake during exercise

Selection of the moment: directly in the gym

If you want to get a rapid increase in results and minimize the breakdown of muscle protein, you need the influx of amino acids during training as air. It is at this moment that we smoothly move from the energy phase of the cycle (the first stage) to the phase of recovery and growth (the second stage). The intake of amino acids during exercise contributes to the generation of energy, slows down the breakdown of muscle protein (catabolism) and approximates the onset of regenerative processes.

The optimal solution is the reception during the BCAA training. Such drugs as BSN Amino X and MusclePharm Amino 1 are excellent representatives of this category.

Selection of the moment: immediately after training

I hope you do not have to convince yourself that the post-training complex is the most important element of the daily diet. After exhausting high-intensity strength training in your body, stocks of many vital nutrients, including proteins, glycogen (carbohydrate source of energy), amino acids, key vitamins and mineral elements are depleted. It is necessary to replenish the formed nutrient deficiency as quickly as possible – only in this way we can stop catabolism (disintegration of muscles), activate anabolic processes (restoration and renewal of growth) and start the synthesis of muscle protein.

At a minimum, you should take a quality cocktail of whey protein. I draw your attention to the fact that after the training you should use whey protein, because it is the fastest source of protein. The reception of a protein cocktail gives rise to restorative processes and the synthesis of muscle protein. In addition, you can increase the effectiveness of post-training complex due to such nutrients as creatine and glutamine. It is enough to add on 5 g each in a protein cocktail.

In addition to this, post-training complex can include easily assimilated carbohydrates, which contribute to the replenishment of glycogen stores and cause a sharp increase in the secretion of insulin. An example of correct carbohydrates is a mixture of glucose and waxy maize (waxy maize). For optimal insulin "spike" it is enough to take about 70 g carbohydrates.

To summarize: the ideal post-training complex contains 30-40 g whey protein, 70 g carbohydrates, 5 g creatine and 5 g glutamine. Well, if you do not want to mix all these ingredients, take at least 30-40 g of whey protein with water.

Selection of the moment: an hour after training

Eating after exercise is the final chord of the nutrient intake strategy. Just like before training, this meal should be balanced in terms of protein content, healthy fats and carbohydrates. Choose low-fat sources of protein and quality sources of complex, slowly digesting carbohydrates (for example, whole and unprocessed products of plant origin).

Nutrients that enter the body before, during and after the training session exert a HUGE influence on the intensity of the training and the subsequent set of muscle mass. If you do not get the results you want from the trainings, reconsider your attitude to nutrition, and perhaps this will help you to succeed!

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