For many the struggle of getting to the gym is real. Work, family and other commitments leave little time for fitness making the old saying “you never have time you make time” very real. Often nutrition gets put on the backburner. Whether your end goal is weight loss, muscle building or general fitness, some quick preplanning on the nutrition front can fast track results. Here are some pointers to get you in the right direction when it comes to fuelling for the gym.
Many don’t leave themselves the luxury of time before their early morning gym sessions so it's important to pre-plan to have everything ready to roll once that alarm sounds. First priority is starting your session hydrated. Have approximately 500ml (2 glasses) of water by your bed and get this down as soon as you wake up. This will refresh and rehydrate you ready for exercise. Eating early can be a challenge, however even those with weight loss in mind will benefit from a small snack 30 minutes before the gym. The energy boost will help increase your intensity and get more out of your session. The result? Burning more calories, fat and kick starting your metabolism. Train yourself to handle your morning snack by starting with liquid or a small portion and slowly increase it as your body adjusts.
Resistance exercise (body weight or weights) is a winner when it comes to increasing lean muscle and your metabolic rate (amount of energy your body burns to operate) so ensure you fuel right to get results. Add protein into your pre-workout snack and ensure you refuel within 30 minutes of finishing. Feed the muscles by including both protein and carbohydrate into your post recovery snack.
This mode of exercise has reached new heights in popularity and offers refreshing combos to push the body to its limits. Sweat rates are usually high so start hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids pre-session. Most of us need 2-3L of water per day not including an extra of upwards of 500mls per hour of moderate exercise. Fading mid-session? This is where sports drink may be beneficial in providing quick energy to maintain intensity. Appetite can be suppressed following high-intensity exercise but recovery is still vital to seeing results. Opt for a cold liquid replacement if you can’t stomach the thought of food within 30 minutes.
Protein containing snack Suggestions:
Marewa Sutherland is a qualified Sports & Exercise Nutritionist (BAppSc, University of Otago) and co-founder of PURE Sports Nutrition. Marewa is available for personalised Nutrition consultations in person or via Skype.
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