Pre-and Post-workout Foods to Lose Fat and Build Muscle
Are you tired of exercising and eating healthy most of the time without seeing results? This could mean that you are not eating the right nutrients at the right time.
The reason why nutrient timing is so important – especially after a workout, is because when you workout, you deplete your Glycogen storage (the storage form of carbohydrates). Subsequently, after a workout, your body is like a sponge, ready to absorb nutrients so it is crucial to give your body the right nutrients at the right time.
The recent popularity of higher-protein, higher-fat, and lower carbohydrates has serious and potentially negative implications for athletic performance. Delivering the right amounts of carbohydrate at the right time optimizes the limited carbohydrates stores, ensures better carbohydrate delivery to the brain, and sustains athletic performance at a high level.
Right after your workout, it’s a good idea to consume a good ratio of carbs to protein to replenish the Glycogen storage and stimulate protein synthesis. Some research has shown a 3:1 ratio, and others a 4:1 ratio, meaning for every 3, or 4 grams of carbohydrate, you consume 1 gram of protein. A good example is legumes – These have a 3:1 ratio, good amount of fiber, protein, carbohydrates and no fats. You can also have a protein shake with a high glycemic fruit.
The reason why you do not want fats before or after your workout is because they slow down your metabolism, and could slow down the recovery period. A good pre-workout meal can consist of some lean protein and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots or squash.
If you want to lose fat, a good practice is to start off your day with some good sources of carbohydrates such as oats and some protein, and slowly decrease the amount of carbohydrates while increasing good sources of fat (avocado, olive oil, flax, coconut oil etc). Your last meal should not have carbohydrates unless your workout is done at night.
Remember that there are other factors to losing fat and building muscle but nutrient timing could be one of them.
 Advanced Sports and Nutrition, Second Edition. Dan Benardot