Righto, during the last few months of training, both in Bootcamp and PT, I’ve picked up on some chatter amongst our awesome Get Active community.
Any clue as to what’s at the top of the gossip list? Um, look at the heading of this article for an idea…. Yep, good job, the main topic of discussion has been all about eating around your training. Or should I say lack of eating around your training.
A lot of ‘sparrow fart’ trainers (that’s those training very first thing in the morning) don’t eat anything at all in the belief that this is by far the best option for those wishing to lose weight.
Fair enough if that is truly your sole purpose, as long as you recharge immediately after your workout. What about getting fit, having more energy, feeling stronger, leaner and more toned? When looking at the whole picture, it’s apparent there are a few more things to consider, right? As long as you include your pre training snack in your overall caloric allowance, it can only be of considerable benefit and set you up for an energy filled day.
So, let’s have a really, really quick look at some basic pointers for beginners.
Cardio on an empty stomach results in a higher percentage of stored fat being used as a source of energy, right?
And what do we do at Bootcamp and in the PT Studio? Just cardio? No way Hosé! We also do a truck load of muscular endurance and strength exercises AS WELL AS CARDIO. I’m sure we’ve all had a crack at a hard training session on an empty stomach (having fasted for at least 8 hours), I know I certainly have. How hard is it to maintain an optimal effort with bugger all fuel in the tank? It’s hard, really hard. You fatigue quickly and probably even try and pace yourself just to get through the session. Less output means less positive gains, you’ll burn less calories per session, walk away feeling like crap and spend the rest of the day playing catch up.
So, for the early morning trainers I suggest eating a small pre workout ‘snack’ containing mostly carbs. If you’re in a rush and time is short, simple carbs are great and quickly absorbed and are the most readily available energy source. Carbs are great only if you use them, overdo the fruit, pasta and bread and it’ll go right back to where you’re trying to lose it!
Some suggestions are:
For something quick and just before training – 1/2 Banana, Orange or other fruit. High in fructose (sugar) so quickly digested! 1/2 Banana & 1/2 Serve of WPI blended with some unsweetened Almond Milk or Water. 1/2-1 piece of fruit with 100g Yoghurt.
Training later in the day – Any of your usual meals containing some protein and carbs would be great! Couple of Rice/Corn Thins, you can add some cottage cheese or natural peanut butter although the fats and protein will slow down digestion a bit so have it a bit further ahead of time. Oats with half a banana, and some WPI blended into a smoothie.
Eating an hour before is great, if eating closer to training stick to something quickly diegestible like fruit!
After your fantastic Bootcamp or PT session with your simply awesome Get Active Trainer (really? Is this guy serious? Haha), your body will begin replenishing its’ glycogen stores in preparation for ‘getting on with the day’. Depleted stores will leave you feeling lethargic and will promote less activity throughout the day. That’s why it’s a great idea to eat as soon as possible after training, even if your goal is just weight loss. If there are no carbs to convert into glycogen and store in your muscles for later, your body will convert other things such as muscle protein….. not a good idea.
I’d suggest eating a meal higher in carbs after your training. This can be one of your usual meals but just make sure it includes a good blend of protein and carbs. Try and have this sooner rather than later, as the food is converted into glycogen much quicker within the first 30 minutes after training.
To keep it simple just think about putting those yummy carbs around your training as that’s what’s going to give you energy to train! Some good quality protein post weight training will help your recovery and muscle growth and that’s when a good Whey Protein Shake can be useful.
Water. You need to be suitably hydrated prior to beginning your session. I’d suggest you drink one of your 600-750ml bottles of water during your session. After all, we do live in the tropics and it gets pretty hot, especially at this time of year. If you’ve lost about a litre of sweat during your training, you’re going to want to replace that shortly after finishing. Electrolyte drinks during training are great as they help maintain the sodium potassium balance. Go for the low carb drinks and avoid the sugary sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade.
So if you want to maximise your energy for training and get some great results, start thinking about what you are eating and most importantly WHEN!