Supplements and Nutrition to Boost your Workouts
Have you ever felt sluggish during a workout? Like your brain is telling you to push harder, but you physically just want to slow down? Well, what and when you eat before you exercise can make a huge difference to both your workout performance and recovery.
Prior to a workout, you want to eat something that will help you sustain energy, boost your performance, and preserve your muscle mass. Consuming protein in the hours before a workout can really help you maintain muscle mass, which is important for anyone that wants to get stronger and fitter. [i] After all, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be, which ultimately means you’ll burn more calories all day long. [ii] In addition to protein, carbohydrates are also a vital piece of the equation because they are your body’s preferred fuel source. [iii] They not only give you the energy you need to sustain a tough workout, but they also help to preserve muscle mass and liver glycogen, which in turn helps increase muscle retention and growth. [iv]
It’s a popular misconception that you only need carbohydrates if you’re engaging in more than two hours of endurance training. In reality, carbohydrates have been shown to improve high-intensity training as well. [v]So, make sure you get them in! Now, what about fat? Well, fat isn’t really a necessary part of the equation because it doesn’t appear to improve or diminish performance. While carbohydrates fuel performance, all fat really does is provide you with some solid vitamins and minerals. [vi] While helpful in general, fat can also really slow down digestion if you consume too much – so be cautious of how much you include in your pre-workout nutrition!
To fuel your next workout, try a well-rounded smoothie, combining the following ingredients in a blender:
1 scoop (about ½ a cup) protein powder
1 fist (about 2 cups) of veggies (spinach works well in smoothies)
1-2 cupped handfuls (1 cup) of carbs (berries or a banana work great)
1 thumb (1 tbsp) of fats (like mixed nuts or flax seeds)
Low-calorie liquid like water or unsweetened almond milk (about 1-2 cups, depending on preference)
And there you have it – some key pre-workout nutrition elements to help boost your workouts!
This article has been sponsored by BOOST®, but all comments and opinions are my own.
[i] Dietitians of Canada. “Fuelling up before exercise.” Retrieved from: https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Sports-Nutrition-(Adult)/Fuelling-up-before-exercise.aspx (Accessed June 2, 2017)
[ii] MyHealth Alberta. “Boosting your Metabolism.” Retrieved from: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=abn2424 (Accessed June 2, 2017)
[iii] Dietitians of Canada. “Fuelling up before exercise.” Retrieved from: https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Sports-Nutrition-(Adult)/Fuelling-up-before-exercise.aspx (Accessed June 2, 2017)
[iv] Canadians Liver Foundation. “Nutrition & Exercise.” Retrieved from: http://www.liver.ca/liver-health/liver-disease-prevention/tips-for-healthy-liver/nutirion-excersize.aspx (Accessed June 2, 2017)
[v] Kerksick et al. “International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Nutrient timing.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2008. Retrieved from: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-5-17
[vi] Government of Canada. “Fats.” Retrieved from: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating-saine-alimentation/nutrients-nutriments/fats-lipides-eng.php (Accessed June 2, 2017)