Fuel your body: Pre-workout
*Protein paired with slow-digesting carbohydrate
Repair your muscles: Post-workout
*Protein paired with fast-digesting carbohydrate
One of the first things I do every morning when I wake up is take my vitamins and drink 16 oz of water. I do this literally the moment my feet hit the floor. It rehydrates a body that has been fasting all night and prepares your system to get moving for the day. I usually try to eat a meal at least an hour before my workout begins, so that I don’t feel uncomfortably full. A pre-workout meal would consist of a protein source and a slow-digesting carb. For example, egg whites and a couple of slices of turkey bacon paired with a small bowl of old fashioned oats or whole wheat toast/english muffin. The slow-digesting carb helps you sustain energy throughout your workout, so you don’t crash mid-lift. Within thirty minutes of my workout, I try to take in another protein source and a fast digesting carb. The fast-digesting carb helps deliver the protein to the muscles for synthesis. Essentially, weight training causes tiny tears in the muscle fibers, which is a good thing if you repair the muscles through eating to build muscle fiber. If inadequate nutrients are taken in after a workout, these muscle tears can lead to further muscle breakdown, meaning the muscle is broken down to form protein to repair the muscles itself. We don’t want that to happen. Eating carbs with protein post-workout also helps to restore depleted glycogen reserves, which is our body’s preferred fuel source during an intense workout. A fast digesting carb could be that pop-tart for the teen, but even better sources would be sweet potatoes, cream of rice, or adding fruit to your post workout protein shake. Remember to plan accordingly when it comes to fueling your workouts and or practice sessions.