Nutrition: How to Survive The Gym
1:Thirty Minutes Before Workout
Nut Butter on an Apple (or on a Rice Cake)
If you’ve been at work all day and you plan on hitting a heavy session it’s vital that you have the correct pre-workout fuel. However, it is also likely that you won’t want anything prepped that may cause an unpleasant stench if left in your bag. This snack combo may seem unlikely but it is a perfect duo in taste and fuelling properties, and a fabulous mix of natural sugars, fats and protein for a slow release of sugars into the bloodstream to keep you powering through your workout for longer. If you choose to use peanut butter or a vitamin E rich nut source for your fuel, you have the additional comfort of knowing that RSK proteins, which can cause liver cirrhosis, will be blocked and may help to reverse any potential damage inflicted by a booze-filled weekend.
2:Five Minutes Before Workout
Dried Fruit, Berries and Grapes
If you are limited to the time period for snacking pre-workout, stick to this basic rule: simple carb and less protein for your fuel. There is a risk that protein intake too close to your workout can lead to stomach cramps and indigestion. Hence a handful of dried fruits are easy to pack and provide simple carbs that yield instant energy and are easily digested. If you choose berries as your snack of choice, chose colour (the brighter the better) with the addition of a few grapes, which have been shown to assist and expand the blood vessels for a better work out, and which are also rich in resveratrol, which has been shown to help block the growth of fat cells around your waist.
3:During Your Workout
Water Bottle to Fill, BCAA, Amino Energy
During your workout you may use a supplement or an intra-workout formula, if not you will certainly need a water bottle for filling and possibly an electrolyte formula as there is nothing worse than smashing your workout to have it interrupted by the onset of cramp. We are probably all acutely aware of the importance of water and yet I am constantly amazed how many people are still not drinking enough on a daily basis, and indeed during a sweat-fest. By the time you feel thirsty, it is already too late. You need to avoid those feelings in the first place. Recent studies highlighted that a 1 per cent reduction in body weight due to dehydration can negatively impact on performance. Such a small fraction, and yet some athletes are still being slack. This said, beware of becoming over zealous with water glugging, as there are very rare cases of hyponatremia becoming fatal. Dropping sodium levels are the reason for this, and the essential electrolyte balance can be the cause of your cramp. These essential minerals aid the body to retain water and you cannot live without them. The sweetened luminous drinks associated with sports recovery are more likely to have a strange chemical in them and you could just use a diorlyte powder as an alternative. If you tend to feel hungry in your workout or feel fatigued, a handy portion of BCAA’s can be just the thing to help you finish strong instead of flat and ineffective. Keeping some of these in your gym bag may just rescue your workout. Certain amino energy formulas combine with electrolytes to solve more than one problem.
“Aim To Ensure That 15% Of Your Calories Should Be Form Fats To Avoid Suffering Poor Performance”
Protein Bar/Shake (Recovery Formula), Glutamine
Whether you are a seasoned gym goer, or a well-read couch potato, you will no doubt have at least heard about the importance of eating enough protein. This is not just to fuel the desire to get ripped, but it has been found that protein-rich diets could also help prevent obesity, osteoporosis and even hypertension. Protein is important if you exercise frequently to aid your muscle recovery, especially post work out. The obvious sources may not be the most convenient for your gym bag, particularly if left in the boot of your car all day. Eggs and meat, for example, may not be the most desirable after a few hours on a summer’s day.
Nuts and quinoa are possibly a little more convenient, or the standard protein powder for a shake. I use a vegan protein and have a specific post workout recovery formula with boosted amino acids and glutamine. Your preference may be whey, but be careful with some that contain high levels of sugar. A post-workout nut snack may also help you to shed pounds. Research shows that people who ate almonds on a daily basis as part of a macro or calorie-controlled diet for six months lost 18 per cent of their body weight, which was substantially more than those that didn’t eat any. Although we are now aware that a low-fat diet does not promote health, people are still wary of eating fats despite the fact that consumption of the correct fat is essential to good health. Limitation of trans fats (generally man made) and an inclusion of fats, from avocado to nuts, will help aid the body’s absorption of key vitamins. Aim to ensure that 15 per cent of your calories should be from fats to avoid suffering poor performance. Limiting bacon and lavishing the avocado should be your goal. To make your nuts a little more interesting, try experimenting with some seasonings or roasting them yourself. If you buy raw, organic nuts, place them on a baking tray with some spices or pink himalayan rock salt and bake for 20-25mins on 180 degrees.