Pre and post workout snack: which are the best
The choice of pre and post workout snack influences both athletic performance and correct recovery. Nutrition and physical activity are in fact two pillars of well-being and bring even more benefits when their action is exploited in a synergistic way. To choose the snack that best suits your needs, first consider three factors:
- the sport you practice;
- the training goal and therefore the intensity and duration of the workout;
- the time of day you train.
The amateur sportsman, unlike the professional who lives according to sporting activity, is a person who has to organize his work and family commitments in order to also find time to train. Therefore, precise training planning is often lacking. You take advantage of the free moments of the day, those sometimes unexpected scraps of time, to rush to the gym, to the pool or to go for a run. It becomes even more important to find the right balance between nutrition and training , to have a good balance between energy and lightness , between physical recovery and correct caloric intake.
The pre-workout snack
First of all, let’s try to understand how to get prepared at the beginning of the workout. Many times we worry excessively about not having energy and strength, so we tend to eat too much and above all too much close to the start of the activity. On the other hand, it is essential not to start training with digestion still in progress because both the digestive process and sports performance would be affected. Foods eaten before activity should have two important characteristics:
- be easily digestible , therefore contain little fat and protein;
- provide energy for a long time and for this purpose low glycemic index carbohydrates and low sugar fruit are better.
Carbohydrates are definitely our body’s favorite fuel, which easily transforms them into energy. To have constant and lasting energy, it is important to choose carbohydrates with a low glycemic index , which increase blood sugar gradually, avoiding the glycemic peaks which are inevitably followed by the collapse of blood sugar, the so-called reactive hypoglycemia. Avoiding the glycemic collapse is essential in order not to feel tired and without energy during training .
If you train away from breakfast and lunch and feel the need for a pre-workout snack , don’t be tempted by packaged bars or snacks, rich in sugar and preservatives. Here are thebest pre workout strategies :
- if you have the opportunity to eat a couple of hours before training, prefer wholemeal cereals lightly seasoned and two or three nuts;
- if you consume your pre-workout snack just an hour before, choose a fruit instead accompanied by some almonds or hazelnuts;
- instead, if you can only eat at the last moment, leave almonds and hazelnuts alone and consume only a low-sugar fruit. So avoid bananas or dehydrated fruit and choose an apple or peaches and apricots in the summer.
Training and nutrition: training on an empty stomach is bad
for you Training on an empty stomach does not hurt, but it certainly puts more stress on your body . When glycogen stores are empty, the body takes energy from fat, promoting lipolysis. You can also include some fasting sessions in your training routine when you want to lose weight, but in this case the workout should be done at low intensity and for a duration of about 45 minutes.
Post workout: how to best manage it Once the workout is over, the recovery phase begins and remember that optimizing recovery is what makes a workout
effective ., because it is in this phase that the body improves its musculature. In the post workout it becomes essential:
- replenish water and mineral salts ;
- restore energy supplies , in the form of glycogen;
- repair muscle fibers stressed by training .
The timing of the post workout snack is important, but not as urgent as it is sometimes described, especially for the amateur sportsman. It is certainly useful to take advantage of the so-called anabolic window , that period in which the body is more receptive to the nutrients we provide, precisely to accelerate recovery and restore energy supplies. It is equally true that it does not have to be a race against time, because the anabolic window also lasts a couple of hours. In the post workout, be concerned above all with replenishing the fluids and mineral salts that you lost due to sweating during exercise.
For this purpose, however, avoid drinks with excessive sugar added and instead rely on water and fruit, in this case even the most sugary ones such as a banana or some apricots, dates or dehydrated figs. For an optimal recovery of mineral salts, you can help yourself with a specially formulated supplement, such as Multicomplex Potassium plus Magnesium from ESI . In the next meal, even after a couple of hours from the end of the workout , you can then consume whole carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables and fats for a complete recovery. Their quantity depends on your body composition and your goals.
Omega3 for the sportsman
In the diet of each individual and even more in that of an athlete, the daily intake of vegetables and omega3 is important. Vegetables, both raw and cooked, must never be missing because they are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Choose them in season and get used to varying as much as possible.
Omega3, contained above all in oily fish and walnuts, on the other hand, have an important anti-inflammatory action. If you are unable to achieve the right daily intake with your diet, you can also help yourself with an Omega3 supplement , making sure it is of certified origin like that of ESI.
Once you have clarified the management of the pre and post workout snack, do not waste any more time and run to train!