Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Exercise and Nutrition Q’n’A

A. If you’re hungry do you suggest eating before you work out or waiting until after?

It depends on the type of exercise and how you perform when you are hungry. If you are hungry, your blood sugar may get low during exercise (especially intense exercise) and that can decrease performance. When your blood sugar gets low, you can feel tired, irritable, or unfocused, and may even faint. If you get hungry right before you want to workout, you could have a combined drink of carbohydrate and protein. Because it’s a liquid, it will have fast absorption that will go quickly to your cells to fuel your workout endeavors. An awesome drink to have right before (15-30 minutes) you work out is whey protein and a banana. The amount of each will depend upon your individual calorie needs and how intense your workout will be.

B. If you eat before you work out, do you recommend eating directly after?

It depends on how much time you spent working out and the level of intensity. If you eat before you work out, you will have nutrients flowing through your body that will probably be used to fuel your working muscles.

So, the following advice is for those who eat a meal shortly (within 1 hour) before they workout: If it’s a short and low intensity workout, it isn’t imperative to eat immediately after (but it would be wise to eat something within an hour after the session). If you work out for a long period of time (~ 2 hours), you will most likely deplete a large percentage of carbohydrates that are stored in your liver and muscles. In addition, you will burn stored fat and possibly a bit of stored protein. This means, it is very important to eat after longer duration workouts (within 30 minutes to 1 hour), to refuel your body. If you do a high intensity weight training or conditioning session, you should also try to eat within 30 minutes to 1 hour, because the quicker food gets into your system, the faster your body will use the food to help it recover from exercise. Remember, it is in the recovery process that your body changes its shape and size. Lastly, the way you devise your eating habits mainly depends on your goal. Do you have a goal?

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