How to Fuel Your Strength Workout
The Right Nutrition to Fuel Your Gym Session
Committing to exercise daily can be difficult, especially when you take into account the pressures of day to day life, but it is a necessity if you want to be fit and healthy. Without the right nutritional guidelines, it becomes very difficult achieve your goals. Tough workouts such as strength training (weight lighting) demands the right kind of fuel, which comes from the foods and beverages that you consume.
Your strength training food plan shouldn’t be expensive or complicated. Here are some tips for fuelling your body more effectively during a workout.
Basic nutrition for smashing those weights
Essential macronutrients including carbohydrates, fats, and protein are required for muscle building, energy production, and keeping your body cells healthy.
For strength training, health experts recommend consuming; 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day. Carbohydrates consumption must be 5 to 12 grams per kilogram of body weight daily. For, fats there are no specific guidelines, but healthy plant-based fats are suggested. For calorie intake, research has depicted that strength athletes need approximately 43 calories per kilogram of body weight daily to maintain their weight.
What to eat before a workout?
A pre-workout meal is important because it’s hard to exercise on an empty stomach. A smart pre-exercise meal should be consumed 60 to 90 minutes before a workout. This meal ideally needs to contain 30 to 45 grams of protein and carbohydrates.
An example of this could be:
- 1 cup chopped chicken breast and wheat tortilla
- 1 large banana
- 2 bread slices with three egg whites
What to eat during training?
Unlike endurance athletes, it is not essential that you eat during a strength training session. But a hydration plan must be considered if your work out is for an hour or more.
A study has depicted that a carbohydrate drink alone or in combination with protein during strength training can enhance your glycogen stores.
What to eat after a workout?
A study has revealed that it is important to consume high-quality protein (whey protein) after 30 minutes of exercise, to repair your muscles.
Here are some suggestions regarding your macronutrients and fluid requirements after workout:
- Carbohydrates; consume 50 to 100 grams after exercise
- Fluid; in the 1st hour, try to drink enough fluid to replace what you have lost during sweating
- Protein; eat 10 to 20 grams after the workout
The most popular post-workout snack is a glass of chocolate milk that contains 26 to 50 grams of carbs and 8 to 16 grams of protein.
To summarise, it is mandatory to fuel your body with the right nutrition during a strength workout. Remember that what you put into your body; builds your body. So, eat right and hydrate well to be fit and healthy.
- Carbone, J.W. and Pasiakos, S.M., 2019. Dietary protein and muscle mass: translating science to application and health benefit. Nutrients, 11(5), p.1136.
- Kerksick, C., Harvey, T., Stout, J., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C., Kreider, R., Kalman, D., Ziegenfuss, T., Lopez, H., Landis, J. and Ivy, J.L., 2008. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 5(1), pp.1-12.
- Maughan, R.J. ed., 2013. Sports nutrition(Vol. 19). John Wiley & Sons.
- Burke, L. and Deakin, V. eds., 2000. Clinical sports nutrition(pp. 457-459). Beijing, Boston: McGraw-Hill.