Proper Nutrition will help fuel your workout and assist with the subsequent recovery and repair of tissues. The timing of nutrients in connection with your workout session is important!
Pre-workout fuel should consist of fast digesting carbohydrates for quick energy production. Incorporating protein or healthy fat depends on the timing of your pre-workout meal. If you consume protein and/or healthy fats too close to your workout, your body will be competing for the energy/blood/oxygen needed for digestion and energy/blood/oxygen required to meet the demands of exercise. Let your muscles have the fuel to power through your work-out by eating easily digested foods. Each person is different and you have to find the nutrient timing that works best for you. It is also important to keep in mind the intensity of your planned workout and thus the energy required to sustain the pace. Here is a general guide:
• Within 30 minutes – fruit is ideal
• Within 60 minutes – small meal of carbs and protein
• Within 2 hours – regular balanced meal of carbs, protein, healthy fat
Post-workout meals are to rehydrate, replace glycogen stores, and for muscle recovery and repair.
• Immediately after – water
• Within 30 minutes – carbs and protein (a protein shake is ideal here) AND then
• Within 60 minutes – regular balanced meal of carbs, protein, healthy fat
Important post-workout notes…
You have a 30 minute window of opportunity in which to maximize protein synthesis. The maximum uptake of amino acids by the muscles occurs during this time. The muscles need these amino acids for repair, recovery, and building. A good quality protein powder is the most bio-available protein source for this purpose…it’s easily digested and quickly transported to where it’s needed.
Eat the right foods at the right times for optimal results. Remember 80% of muscle development is in nutrition.
If you think you can get by on a few hours of sleep, think again. You may feel like you can manage on minimal sleep when in fact your body will not function optimally without adequate sleep. Research indicates that sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), increased levels of ghrelin (a hunger stimulating hormone), decreased activity of human growth hormone (which is active during tissue repair), and decreased glycogen synthesis (needed for energy production and storage). These are just a few of the chemical reactions that take place with lack of sleep. There are many more implications of sleep deprivation…mood swings, lack of mental focus, weight gain, and depression, to name just a few!
Your body heals at rest and your organs are given a break while you sleep. Proper sleep is what is needed to physically and psychologically recover from the stresses of life. One or two nights of shortened sleep will not have much of a negative impact but consistent lack of sleep will lead to changes in hormone levels; with many negative effects to how you feel and function.
Your quality of sleep is just as important as the quantity. Seven to eight hours of sleep nightly is ideal. Some good sleep hygiene habits for improved sleep are:
– sleep in a dark, quiet room
– ensure room temperature is comfortable and well ventilated
– sleep in comfortable clothing or ideally in the nude
– avoid screen time before bed (TV, computer, video games, etc)
– avoid eating a heavy meal before bed
– avoid drinking caffeine four to six hours before bed
– avoid eating spicy, sugary foods close to bedtime
– avoid napping during the day
– establish a bedtime routine with pre-sleep rituals (warm bath, reading, meditating) and a regular bedtime
– bedtime teas may help induce restful sleep (Chammomile, Passion Flower, Valerian Root)
– a Naturopathic remedy such as Bach Flowers “Sleep Rescue Remedy” may promote sleep
– exercise regularly, but not before bed
– reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex, that’s it
– clear your mind, write down your thoughts before bed, allowing them to leave your mind
Snuggle up…sleep as snug as a bug in a rug!
Christmas decorations adorn the malls and once again, the holiday season seems to be coming at us full speed! As you plan for the holidays, make sure you also have a plan for staying on track with your fitness and nutrition goals. Too often life gets busy or stressful and the first things to go are clean eating and regular exercise, when in fact, these are the very things that will help us manage stress in a more effective way. During busy times, it’s important to take care of yourself and make time for you…it’s the best gift you can give to yourself! After all…you’re worth it.
Here are some strategies to help you stay healthy and happy during the busy Christmas season…
• Schedule workouts – put them in your agenda and keep that appointment with yourself
• Don’t skip it – can’t do a 60 minute workout? That’s okay! Squeeze in a 20 minute power session rather than
skipping your entire workout
• Make sure you get adequate sleep
• Pack a cooler when you leave the house so you always have healthy meals and snacks when away from home – there are
plenty of temptations, especially at this time of year
• Eat before you go to the Christmas party – you’ll overeat if you arrive hungry
• Don’t hover around the buffet table at parties – fix yourself a plate, stop eating when it’s done, and step away from
• Don’t do it all – ask for help with meals, shopping, planning, and hosting functions
• Find some quiet time – be kind to yourself by spending time doing something that helps you to relax and recharge
• Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum – choose a cranberry juice spritzer instead of an alcoholic beverage – put it in
a fancy glass with a nice garnish, nobody else will know or care if you have alcohol in your glass or not
Make it through the holidays feeling like you’ve had a break instead of feeling like you need one. Eat, move, and be merry…in a healthy way!
Have a happy, healthy day!