Are you wondering what you should eat before and after your workout?
In this video, I’ll give you pre and post workout nutrition tips over 35.
Hi, it’s Ivana. Welcome to my channel.
I share evidence-based information to help you get fitter and stronger as you get older.
Pre and post workout nutrition is one of the most common questions I’ve gotten from clients in over 20 years of coaching.
And because of some myths that continue to circulate in various places. I think people actually worry about pre and post workout nutrition a lot more than they should. What you eat before and after your workout certainly matters, but not as much as people think.
And if you’re not an elite competitive athlete or a professional bodybuilder, then it’s not as important for getting those fat loss benefits or muscle building benefits, as you might think.
But I still want to give you every edge so you can train optimally over 35.
At the end, I’m going to share my favourite pre-workout meal.
Now the pre-workout meal is very much going to depend on what time of day you’re working out.
So if you’re working out around mid day, then you’ve probably had something to eat and some kind of fuel prior to that. So if you’re doing an evening workout, let’s say six 30 at night. And the last meal that you finished was around 12 o’clock. You may not feel that great by 6:30, you may start to be hungry. You may even skip the gym because you’re like I’m too hungry to work out right now.
So it’s really important to have some sort of snack in the mid afternoon, or let’s say a couple of hours before you intend to work out.
Pre Workout Meal Recommendations
I generally recommend about 10 to 30 grams of protein in that meal, depending on your size. So someone like myself, probably 10 or 15 grams of protein is okay.
If you’re a larger male, particularly you might want to go on that 30 gram range. And that’s primarily just so that you can meet your protein goal over the course of the day.
Low In Veggies
You don’t want to have too many veggies because that can be uncomfortable for your digestion prior to a workout.
Low In Fibre
So you’re keeping your fiber intake low.
Low In Fat
You want to keep the fat not too high because fat actually does slow down the digestion. You want fast acting foods, easily digestible foods so that you get that energy to your muscles if necessary, and you get it out of your stomach so that your body is not using its energy to digest food when it should be using it to work out. So you want it to be small, to moderate in size. Maybe think of it as a snack rather than a meal.
The main thing with the pre-workout meal is that you don’t want to upset your stomach.
That’s going to give you the best workout.
A lot of people do recommend having the premium workout meal 30 to 90 minutes before.
Now that might work for you, particularly if it’s a smaller meal myself, I suffer from acid reflux. So I need two to three hours.
If your digestion is totally fine. An hour after consuming your moderate meal, then that’s fine. It’s very individual and I always recommend that my clients choose something that makes sense for them.
Pre Workout Nutrition
The pre-workout meal can also include a small amount of carbs, generally small starchy carbs, like rice or potatoes or sweet potatoes. I generally only recommend this when someone is trying to put on weight and they’re a hard gainer they’re trying to put on muscle mass. If you’re trying to lose weight, particularly over 35, where you might not have the carb tolerance that you once did, you probably want to limit your carbs a little bit more overall anyway.
So having them pre-workout just adds more carbs to your day morning. Workouts can present a bit of a challenge. If you’re one of these people who wakes up at 5:30AM or 6:00AM, and then you’re trying to do your workout before you go to work, you might not necessarily have the 60 to 90 minutes that you need after the meal, do the workout and then get to work on time.
In that case, it is possible to do one of two things.
One is fasted training. Some people say it leads to some muscle breakdown that all depends on how hard you’re training. Perhaps that’s the case of athletes who are training very, very hard. If you’re someone whose primary goal is fat loss or weight loss, then fasted training can be perfectly okay for you. Part of it is down to personal preference.
If you’re going to get up and try to do your workout and lift the weight, and then you’re going to find yourself fatigued or lightheaded, because cause you can’t function without food, then you might need to reconsider fast to training.
Pre Workout Shake
The other option that you have is to have a small protein shake, something that you can just blend up really quickly and then maybe take half an hour. I often liked the idea yeah. Of boiled eggs and a potato. Perhaps it can be a sweet potato as well. You probably want to cook this before you eat it, but that’s a good pre-workout and it could also be a good post-workout as well. And you can also have a low fiber bread.
It all depends on whether you’re having that those carbs beforehand or not. If your primary goal is muscle building, then you may want to have more carbs in your nutrition plan, any fruit lean individual to begin with, then you’re probably going to be needing more calories both before and after your workout in order to build muscle.
Pre Workout Snacks
If you’re looking for a really quick and easy snack, you can have some nut butter or some peanut butter with like an Apple or some other fruit. Some people like cheese, whether it’s cottage cheese or hard cheese.
Using Caffeine For Pre Workout Energy
Another thing that you might want to consider pre-workout is caffeine.
Caffeine is a well-researched ergogenic. That means performance enhancing aid.
The recommended dosage for athletes and ergogenic effect is three to six milligrams per kilo, about one hour prior to exercise. So let’s say 75 kilos, which is about 165 pounds. That means you have about 250, 25 to 450 milligrams of caffeine. About an hour prior to your workout.
One coffee is around that 200 milligrams, one to two cups of coffee prior to a workout can be a good way of working out a little bit harder.
Post Workout Nutrition
Now for the post workout meal, I tend to not do anything particularly special for this.
I often do have a protein shake immediately after my workout. I’m going to talk about the anabolic window in a minute, but it’s not really because of that. It just makes it easy to get in a certain amount of protein immediately after my workout, then usually about an hour afterwards, I’ll have my actual meal and that meal is just a normal mixed meal, protein carbohydrates, and fats, something standard for me, it’s chicken breast or fish, and then maybe a sweet potato or potato. And then I have some veggies there as well.
Is There An Anabolic Window Post Workout?
So the animal like a window is the idea that you need to get in protein, ideally 30 to 60 minutes after your workout, in order for you to maximize protein synthesis. And thereby maximizing your muscle growth. Research has started to show that the anabolic window isn’t really as important as we once thought. That 30 to 60 minute window is probably not relevant at all.
There is some research by Shoenfeld.
They advised a four to six hour window and that’s around training. So before and after, so if you were training in a fasted state, then you would try to make sure. From the time that you started working out to the time that you’re consuming your food, it would be only four to six hours.
But if you’re eating a couple hours before, then you’ve already got some amino acids. Those are the building blocks of protein. They’re already in your system as you’re doing your workout. So you’ve got something coming in there anyway. So it’s not like there’s an urgency to immediately have protein after your workout.
Priming The Muscles For Protein
Weight training does prime the muscles to be sensitive to amino acids. But the time period is 24 to 48 hours. After the workout. As long as you’re getting enough protein in your daily intake, then you shouldn’t be just fine.
So the recommended amount is 0.7 to about one gram per pound of body weight per day.
This is particularly important as we get older, because one of our key goals should be building and maintaining muscle. And without that protein, you won’t be able to keep the muscle that you’ve got or be able to build anymore.
Fast Acting Carbs Post Workout?
Now, many people also talk about driving your insulin levels up post workout, usually with the use of fast acting carbs in order to suppress muscle breakdown. That happens after workout. You’re going to get enough of an insulin raise after your workout through just a regular mixed meal.
That’s all you’re going to need in order to suppress muscle breakdown. So you don’t need the carbs after your workout, unless you’re having a hard time getting enough carbs in most people. That’s not an issue, but if you are someone who is a hard gainer and struggles to put on muscle, then you probably want to get into some carbs after your workout.
And throughout your day, you need to have more calories overall in order to build muscle. Just remember that whatever’s a normal mixed meal for you is also a good post-workout meal. The main thing is your caloric intake throughout the day and your macro intake throughout the day.
My Favourite Pre Workout Meal
So my favourite pre-workout meal is more of a snack. Really. It’s quite small. I often like to have some nuts, a quarter cup of nuts. I also like to have a bit of chocolate, so I’ll have like four or five pieces of a dark chocolate. So there’s a little bit of caffeine in there, a little bit of sugar.
And then I also have at least one cup and probably two or three of green tea and sometimes black tea, depending on my preference that day, depending on how my stomach is going in, my Ivana Chapman mug.
Keep in mind that my primary goal is not to lose weight. I’m trying to put on muscles and I often fall short in calories. It’s not necessarily the ideal meal for everybody, but if you are a lean person, who’s looking to have a great workout that works for me.
If you found this video helpful, please hit the like button and also let me know in the comments. What do you have pre-workout and what do you do for post-workout meals?