Before/After workout nutrition

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I was asked for advice on what to eat before/after a workout.

In the beginning of my weight loss journey my workout consisted of 15 minutes on the elliptical and getting on the leg extension machine for a few minutes.  This (in my opinion) does not require any additional fueling.  At that time my meal before and after was just whatever meal came before it – for me breakfast a 150 calorie protein shake with about 25 grams of protein.  After I just waited til my next meal.

In the middle of my journey I started to do the SHRED and realized I needed a little more energy and food for my tired muscles, so I had my shake before and then another afterward.

Then I started lifting weights (and reading more) and wanted to fuel muscle building… I learned the optimum way to do this is to have carbs + protein before & after in a 2:1 ratio (like 30 gr carbs, 15 g protein).  My personal pre workout meal is now 1/2 cup oatbran and 1/2 scoop protein powder (roughly 36 g carbs and 20g protein) – and the same thing after.  Sometimes the oatbran gets substituted by a potato or a banana.

I recently read that weight lifting (and any “intense” exercise) requires carbs + protein before and carbs+protein after.  Cardio probably carbs+protein before and you can get away with either a little protein after or nothing at all (but no carbs really).  Assuming, of course you are running for 30-40 minutes.  1-2 hours you may need a little fuel!

Googling “pre workout nutrition” and “post workout nutrition” will give you more answers (all different) than you wish to know but you can start with these 2 articles… and think about whether your primary exercise is cardio or strength training…

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