If there’s one time of day when proper nutrition is key, it’s in the hours during and after your workout. During the pre/peri/post-workout time frame, you need to worry about fueling your body for performance, so you can kick some butt in the gym, while also providing your body with the building blocks it needs to recover. Some people swear by energy drinks, others chug Gatorade, and some prefer good ol’ fashioned H2O. But who’s right? You only get a few hours in the gym each week, so you have to make sure you’re giving your body what it needs to make the most of that time. Well, let’s look at two different workout nutrition options, depending on your current goals, which will propel you forward on the path to success!
Workout Nutrition for Fat Loss – BCAAs
When your main goal is fat loss, you want a workout shake that will give you a boost of energy and protein, but without too many calories. In this case, BCAAs are your saving grace! BCAAs, or Branched Chain Amino Acids, are a blend of very fast absorbing protein that your body can utilize for energy and/or muscle repair, which is just what you need when you’re hitting the iron at the gym.
Mix 10g of BCAAs (I recommend a flavored blend… they are pretty disgusting on their own) with water and sip throughout your workout. You’ll improve performance, reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, and, at only 40 calories, you won’t blow your diet! Any supplement store or website will have a great selection of different flavors for you to choose from.
Workout Nutrition for Muscle Gain – Whey and Dextrose
If you’re already on the lean side and want to pack on some muscle mass, you’d be silly not to capitalize on some proper workout nutrition. You see, during a hard workout, your muscles become better at utilizing sugars and proteins for a limited period of time… so be nice to your muscles; give ‘em some sugar and protein!
Whey protein is a good blend for a workout shake because it is absorbed and digested quickly, meaning it gets into your bloodstream fast so your muscles can put it to use. For a sugar source, you also want something that is fast acting. Dextrose increases your blood sugar the fastest, so it’s your best bet. You can get it super cheap all over the web and in some specialty food stores.
For a muscle gain workout shake, blend a serving of whey protein (23-25g protein usually, depending on the brand) and 40g of dextrose. Start sipping it on your way to the gym and finish it throughout your workout. This will give your muscles plenty of readily accessible carbs and protein to blast through your workout and start building some serious muscle!
About Kent McCann
Boston Personal Trainer Kent McCann is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach. His personal journey with weight management issues helped mold his training philosophy of focusing on Lifestyle and Behavioral changes to obtain goals and maintain long term success. Kent is a Licensed EMT and is pursuing his Doctorate in Sports Medicine.