Anytime you exercise, you do so in order to try and
maintain good health. You also know that you have to
eat as well, so your body will have the energy it
needs to exercise and maintain for the everyday tasks
of life. For making the best of your exercise, what
you eat before and after you workout is very important.
No matter if you are going to be doing a cardio
workout or a resistance workout, you should always
make it a point to eat a balanced mix of protein and
carbohydrates. What makes that determining percentage
of carbs and protein you consume is whether or not
you are doing cardio or resistance exercise and the
intensity level that you plan to work at.
The ideal time for you to eat your pre workout meal
is an hour before you start. If you plan to work
at a low intensity level, you should keep your pre
workout meal down to 200 calories or so. If you
plan to exercise at a high level of intensity, you
will probably need your meal to be between 4,000
and 5,000 calories.
Those of you who are doing a cardio session will
need to consume a mix of 2/3 carbs and 1/3 protein.
Doing so will give you longer sustained energy from
the extra carbs with enough protein to keep your
muscle from breaking down while you exercise.
For resistance exercise, you’ll need to eat a mix
of 1/3 carbs and 2/3 protein, as this will help
you get plenty of energy from the carbs to perform
each set you do and the extra protein will help
keep muscle breakdown to a minimum while you
Eating after you exercise is just as important as
your pre workout meal. Anytime you exercise,
whether its cardio or resistance, you deplete energy
in the form of glycogen. The brain and central
nervous system rely on glycogen as their main
source of fuel, so if you don’t replace it after
you exercise, your body will begin to break down
muscle tissue into amino acids, and then convert
them into usable fuel for the brain and the
central nervous system.
Keep in mind that mostly during resistance
exercise, you’ll break down muscle tissue by
creating micro tears. What this means, is that
after a workout, your muscles will instantly go
into repair mode. Protein is the key here for
muscle repair, as you don’t want muscle breaking
down even further to create fuel instead of
Once you have finished a cardio session, you’ll
need to consume mainly carbohydrates, preferably
those with high fiber. Rice, oatmeal, whole wheat
pasta, and northern fruits are excellent sources.
Also, try to consume 30 – 50 grams of there
types of carbs after you exercise. After your
cardio workout, it is fine to eat within 5 – 10
Once you’ve finished a resistance workout, you
will need to consume a combination of carbs and
protein. Unlike cardio workouts, resistance
workouts will break down muscle tissue by creating
You’ll need protein as this happens to build up
and repair these tears so that the muscle can
increase in size and strength. The carbs will
not only replace the lost muscle glycogen, but
will also help the protein get into muscle cells
so it can synthesize into structural protein, or
the muscle itself.
After your resistance exercise, you should wait
up to 30 minutes before you eat, so that you won’t
take blood away from your muscles too fast. The
blood in your muscles will help the repair process
by removing the metabolic waste products.