What you eat carries lots of significance, especially if you are striving to build muscle. In this post, we will find out what you should eat before, during and after exercise for muscle strength and development.

Most of us can meet our workout nutrition needs if we eat a healthy meal 1 to 2 hours before workout and another meal 1 to 2 hours after workout. But if you fit and exercise on a regular basis, you may not need a specific workout nutrition strategy.

Pre-Workout Nutrition

  • Eating before workout will help you maintain energy, boost performance, remain hydrated, preserve muscle mass and recover fast.
  • Eating protein a couple of hours before workout will help develop your muscle, and will help prevent muscle damage in addition to supply amino acids to your blood.
  • If you eat carbs before doing exercise, it will help with your recovery and preserve liver glycogen and muscle.
  • Fats help slow down digestion and supply your body with minerals and vitamins.

What to Eat or Drink

You have two options to choose from: Eating 2-3 hours before workout or eating 30 to 60 minutes before workout. Two to three hours before workout, you can eat a mixed meal and drink a beverage that is low in calorie, such as water. Just 30 minutes before workout, you can choose to have a light meal that will be easy to digest. You can go for a smoothie or a shake.

During-Exercise Nutrition Needs

  • What you eat during workout gives you almost the same benefits that you get by eating before workout.
  • If possible, don’t carbs during workout since fats are hard to digest for your stomach. And you may not want to put too much burden on your stomach while you are working out.

What to Eat or Drink

If your workout will last fewer than two hours, drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. Sports drinks are more useful if you are working out in heat, and sports drink will boost hydration and recovery.

For muscle gain, you should include a protein and carb drink during workout or training. It will provide a little bit more advantage with your body. If you are training for over 2 hours, a sports drink will help you a lot. You should consume 14 g protein and 30 grams carbs each hour. Don’t just rely on water for long workouts and go for sports drink.

Post-exercise nutrition

  • Eating or drinking after workout will help you recover, refuel, rehydrate, develop muscle and augment future workout performance.
  • For protein needs, you can go for a high-protein meal, and a high-protein shake. Ideally, you should eat 40 grams of protein after workout.
  • For carb needs, you can have some fruit and processed whole food for maintaining liver glycogen.
  • As far as fat goes, you can have 55g of fat after workout.

What to Eat

Within 2 hours after workout, you can eat a mixture of real food. The ingredients you need to prepare this may include 2 palms protein, 2 fists veggies, 2 thumbs fat, and water. If you don’t feel hungry post workout, eat liquid nutrition. For instance, you can make a shake following the same guidelines given above.

Bottom line

It is important to keep in mind that many factors play a role in recovery after workout, such as time of year, workout goals, and so on. Therefore, the eating schedule given in this post may not work for everyone. Eat, exercise and live better!