Whether you’re already following a structured workout program or looking to get started at the gym for the first time, have you thought about how you’re going to fuel those workouts with food?

We often focus on the workout itself, but don’t think about whether we will have maximum energy to execute the workout.

The good news is that it’s not complicated.

At Alliance Fitness Center, we call it “bookending your workouts with protein and carbohydrates.”

The purpose for fueling up before your workout is to increase your performance and recovery. By eating protein and carbohydrates (via vegetables, fruits, and complex carbohydrates), you’ll provide your body with energy for your workout and help preserve muscle mass, which means faster recovery. You can choose to eat a larger meal 2-3 hours before your workout, or a smaller meal 0-60 minutes prior to your workout.

The purpose for proper food choices after your workout is to help with recovery, rehydrate your body, replenish the energy you used, and build muscle. Similarly to your pre-workout meal, it will be helpful to eat a combination mainly of protein and carbohydrates 0-2 hours after you exercise.

For clients with weight loss goals, both meals could look like the following:

  • Males: 2 palms of protein, 2 fists of vegetables, 1 cupped handful of fruit or complex carbohydrates, & 3 thumbs of fat
  • Females: 1 palm of protein, 1 fist of vegetables, 0.5 cupped handful of fruit or complex carbohydrates, & 2 thumbs of fat

Let us know if you change up your pre- and post-workout nutrition and how doing so affects your workouts.