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The Importance Of Nutrition: Quick Tips On Pre And Post Workout Nutrition

Every trainer should view nutrition as coal to a coal train; without it your results will stall, your frustration will grow and it will becomes more likely that you will give up your muscle building journey. There are no definite rules that apply to everybody when it comes to nutrition, only guidelines because peoples bodies react differently to any kind of stimulus you subject it to. There are only two rules cast in stone for everybody: Consuming more calories than you expend results in weight gain while consuming a smaller number than you expend results in weight loss.However, that will be discussed in greater detail in another article. The focus of this article is around nutrition before and after your workout which can have a great impact on your results.Pre workout nutrition should be taken with the goal in mind that it should fuel your workouts. When eating a small banana or fruit as your sole source of nutrition before heading off to the gym, you should ask yourself: “Is this really enough to sustain me? Will I have the energy I need to outperform my last workout?”. Proper nutrition before your workout allows all you cylinders to be completely full before you begin firing! Intense workouts where you beat your last personal record, go for longer, out-rep your training partner or your last attempt at that same exercise should be your goal. Eating properly beforehand allows you to feel stronger and more energetic in the gym which leads to greater gains.Here are some quick tips on pre workout nutrition:
Keep it liquid if you’re pressed for time – Throw your foods into a blender and make a shake if you’re under time constraints. Liquids digest much more easily than solid foods thus making them a great alternative if you don’t have time to cook a meal. Your shake should include a combination of protein and carbohydrate (I would recommend oats and a scoop of whey protein). It is also very low in fat which is ideal before a workout.
Leave time for meals – Eating a full sized meal right before a workout is detrimental to your results because blood rushes to your digestive system in order to process the foods you’ve just eaten instead of pooling into your muscles. If you have ever trained on a full or partially full stomach, you will have noticed that you feel lethargic and that your pump is sub par. This is not to say that you cannot eat meals before a workout, by all means eat a carbohydrate and protein combination meal (keep fats very low as amounts over 10g can blunt the release of muscle building hormones) but leave an hour and a half to two and a half hours for that meal to digest before hitting the weight room.
Magazines have popularized post workout nutrition but the belief held by people is slightly skewed on this matter. The notion of this wonderful, esoteric ’30 minute anabolic window’ has snuck up on the beginner and even intermediate trainer. While eating protein after a workout has been researched and proven to increase muscle protein synthesis, there is no magical time threshold that the protein has to be consumed in to encourage muscle gain. There are also those who advocate taking dextrose or some other kind of simple sugar to spike insulin after a workout; this is also wrong because it has been shown that it has absolutely no effect on protein synthesis.Here are some quick tips to optimize your post workout nutrition for greater results:
Consume a combination of protein and carbohydrate – Eating protein after a workout has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis. However, for optimal results, eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein has the largest impact on protein synthesis. I recommend having whey protein as it digests much faster than solid food but this doesn’t make a massive difference to your results.
Keep it liquid – Again, this allows your body to digest these nutrients much more quickly allowing your body to shuttle these nutrients to your damaged muscles.
These tips are simple and can be implemented right from your next workout. It is crucial to realize the importance of nutrition when on a journey to build an impressive physique, it is literally the driving force behind your results.

Nutrition Vs Diet – Are You Getting the Nutrients Your Body Needs?

Today we hear the word diet much more than we hear the word nutrition. There are so many diets on the market that it’s easy to get lost in the fad and forget what nutrition truly is. There is the Atkins Diet, the Zone Diet, Weight Watchers and many others, from Slim Fast to the various one-food diets, such as the cabbage soup diet or the grapefruit diet. Society has become fixated on the ‘diet’, instead of quality nutrition. Unfortunately, this fixation isn’t working. America is the fattest nation in the world, with high rates of diabetes, heart disease and other life threatening illnesses. While diets are becoming more popular, nutrition is suffering.What is a diet?While many people think a diet is a set of rules you follow to try to lose weight, your diet is actually the food that you eat to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. While an average American diet consists of large quantities of processed sugar, white flour, meat and fast foods, a healthy diet is one that supplies the body with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and enzymes. These nutritional building blocks affect your energy levels, your quality of life, and have a direct affect on your mood, memory, eyesight, body functions and lifespan. Without a healthy diet that supplies the body with much needed nutrients, you are more susceptible to colds, infections, and illnesses. Your diet, in other words your nutrition, is what sustains your life.Nutritional LabelsThere is much confusion surrounding nutritional labels. Most people look strictly toward the top for calories, fat grams and serving size information. The truth is that nutritional labels offer a look at the nutrients in one’s food, such as vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and folic acid. This information, although lower down on the nutritional label, is very important information if you are seeking to supply your body with nutrients, as opposed to empty calories.The most important aspect of a nutritional label, although almost completely overlooked, is the actual ingredients within your food. While it may be easier to check to see how many calories and fat grams a certain food product has in each serving, when it comes to healthy nutrition the most important ingredient is what you are actually ingesting. It may have only 220 calories, but where are those calories coming from? Are you ingesting mostly corn syrup and sodium phosphate, or high amounts of preservatives, such as sorbic acid and sulfur dioxide? The ingredients in your food are the tell-tale clues to how much nutrition you are actually taking in. If your food is strictly cheese and flour, as opposed to nutrient providing vegetables and vitamins, it doesn’t really matter if the calories are low.A Nutritional DietNutrition comes from vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Food sources that are rich with nutrients are whole, living foods that are supplied from the earth. Dark leafy greens offer more calcium than milk, while beans and grains offer high amounts of iron. It is easy to turn your focus from diet to nutrition. And when you do, you might find yourself eating a diet that is rich in nutrients and optimal for losing weight.