Pre-Workout Nutrition for All Body Types and Training Styles

Pre-workout nutrition is just as important as post-workout meals. However, each body type and training style has their own dietary needs. Learn how to sculpt a pre-workout meal to meet your wellness goals.
 
Exercise is essential for improving your gut health. These days, there’s a lot of talk about post-workout drinks and supplements for muscle building and recovery. On the other hand, the importance of pre-workout nutrition doesn’t quite receive the same amount of attention.
 
Pre-workout nutrition gives your body the blood glucose necessary to power through your workout. It keeps you from feeling tired and provides your muscles the nutrition necessary to heal themselves during the physical exertion.
 
Let’s break down the basics of pre-workout nutrition. These fundamentals should help you understand how to properly fuel and maximize every training session.

 

Tips For Pre-Workout Nutrition 101

 
Before we begin, it’s best to take any nutritional advice with a grain of salt. Wellness is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Many factors influence your pre-workout nutrition.

 

Your pre-workout meals and supplements depend on:
• Physical Nature of the Exercise
• Your Particular Wellness Goals
• Lifestyle Choices
• Dietary Preferences
• Duration of Your Workout
 
For advice that is tailor-fit to your needs, it’s best to consult with exercise science experts, especially when you’re just starting out with training. The clear advantage is that training experts have the right research, as they have studied the subject either at degree level or through a certified course. 
 
In fact, most of the discoveries around exercise and health are made and studied at universities. That is why you should check the background of an expert to see if they have had an education at degree level. 
 
Exercise science graduates, who eventually become leading experts in fitness, will have dived deep into nutrition as much as human kinetics, exercise prescription, and other aspects of their field. 
 
That’s because nutrition goes hand-in-hand with exercise. Diet is what ultimately fuels movement and optimal performance. That’s why pre-workout nutrition needs to be understood on a more scientific level.

 

What You Need for Pre-Workout Nutrition

 
If for whatever reason you don’t have access to an expert, this guide should help you get started on pre-workout nutrition. First, you need to make sure your plate represents three different food groups.

 

Carbohydrates

 
These are your body’s go-to source of fuel. Carbs are easily converted to energy and are perfect as pre-workout nutrition. These food groups should account for 40% to 60% of your diet [1].
 
Some examples of carbohydrate-rich foods include:
• Whole Grains
• Fruits
• Vegetables
 
If you are looking for a quick blast of energy, opt for fruits. They are rich simple sugars that are perfect for HITT Fitness and weight room training. For those going the distance, opt for resistant carbs like starchy vegetables and whole grains.

 

Protein

 
Protein is known as the building blocks of muscle because it’s rich in amino acids. That’s why protein is best consumed after a workout. It should account for 30-40% of your diet.
 
Some examples of protein-rich food are:
• Quinoa
• Black Beans
• Beef
• Poultry
• Seafood
• Eggs
• Tofu
Legumes 
 
If you’re trying to get lean, you should eat lean. Opt for poultry and fish for your post and pre-workout nutrition. There will be a lot less fat to burn off!

 

Fats

 
Fats are considered as the body’s long-term energy reserves. They’re the most caloric dense. Therefore, fats are also the hardest to burn. They should account for 20-30% of your diet.
 
Healthy fats for pre-workout nutrition include:
• Coconuts
• Avocados
• Walnuts
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• MCT Oil
• Fish
 
The quality of your fats matter for health and weight reasons. Make sure you consume plenty of polyunsaturated and monunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats. Too many saturated fats can cause inflammation in the gut and result in a litany of long-term diseases [2].

 

Pre-Workout Nutrition for Body Type

 
Not all bodies are made equal. We know that at Thryve, which is why we make custom probiotics. Our individuality is what makes nutrition and exercise complicated, but also exciting.
 
In the world of fitness, body types are divided into these three categories: ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph [3]. Though knowing your body type is often the first step to set training goals, it can also determine your nutritional needs.

 

Ectomorph

 
Someone who is lanky or lean and has difficulty building muscle is known as an ectomorph. These people have a fast metabolism. Therefore, ectomorphs need to eat nutrient-dense foods before a workout.
 
Pre-workout nutrition for ectomorphs should include:
• A Handful of Nuts and Seeds
• Fruits
• Protein Shakes (with Spirulina)
• Fish
• Sweet Potatoes
 
Since you’re skinnier, you can opt for more fats over carbohydrates. They will sustain you longer. Plus, there are many health benefits to consuming fats, including repairing your gut lining!

 

Endomorph

 
Someone who tends to hold on to body fat is an endomorph. Focus on eating whole foods rather than refined and processed ingredients. That’s because endomorphs are often diagnosed with insulin sensitivity, which is what makes them store fat [4].
 
Acceptable pre-workout foods for endomorphs include:
• Green Smoothies
• Whole Grains
• Fish
• Chicken
• Salad
 
If you do have an insulin sensitivity, you might want to stay clear of fruit. Otherwise, fruit is an excellent source of quick energy for endomorphs who don’t have diabetes.

 

Mesomorph

 
mesomoph pre-workout nutrition
Someone who quickly builds and maintains muscle mass is called a mesomorph. Mesomorphs are really lucky because they tend to see results the fastest. If this sounds like you, that’s not an excuse to slack off with your diet!
 
Like others, you must eat quality food, but you should also consider increasing your caloric intake. That’s because muscle requires more energy to maintain, and low caloric intake can lead to muscle loss.

 

Pre-Workout Nutrition for Training Style

 
Pre-workout fuel also varies depending on your chosen form of training. Let’s look at the two most popular styles and how you can prepare your pre-workout nutrition to make the most gains.

 

Cardio

cardio pre-workout nutrition
 
If you’re into running, cycling, or other forms of cardio, what you eat before training depends on the intensity of your workout. Some people like to start the day off with a run, usually with an empty stomach. 
 
This is also referred to as fasted cardio, and some studies suggest that it can be effective for fat burning [5]. The body has no available energy to burn, so it turns to fat and carbohydrates instead.
 
However, fasted cardio is not ideal for longer training sessions. It can lead to a dip in blood sugar, which often manifests as nausea, light-headedness, or muscle shakes. So if you’re going for a long run, aim to consume around 200-300 calories beforehand. One example of this is buckwheat pancakes and fruit. Follow a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, and eat at least 30-60 minutes before training.

 

Weight Lifting

 
There’s less proof that fasted training actually works for lifting weights. Researchers note that resistance training without food can inhibit your progress because it risks muscle degradation over time.
 
If you’re starting a serious weight lifting program, it’s best to power up with the right food. Consider the needs of your particular body type when planning what to eat.
 
Experts also suggest consuming 30-45 grams each of carbs and protein, with minimal fat. For example, have a protein shake with a banana and some nut butter, or lean protein in a whole wheat wrap. Eat at least 30-90 minutes before a lifting session.

 

Supplements For Pre-Workout Nutrition

 
exercise
Now, you might be asking where supplements come into play. The truth is, you don’t need protein shakes, BCAAs, and other supplements if you’re following a nutritious diet.
 
Nutrition experts recommend eating real food because they also contain other essential vitamins and minerals — or micronutrients — that are often lacking in supplements. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a little help. This sentiment is especially true if you have difficulty gaining mass, like in the case of ectomorphs.
 
As mentioned, nutrition is not always straightforward and requires a lot of trial and error. Hopefully, this article helps you experiment and eventually find what works best for your fitness goals.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Flex Staff. “60% Vs. 40% Carb Restricted Diets for Bodybuilders…Which Is Better?” Muscle & Fitness, 22 Oct. 2014, www.muscleandfitness.com/flexonline/flex-nutrition/60-vs-40-carb-restricted-diets-bodybuilderswhich-better/.
 
[2] Temple N. J. (2018). Fat, Sugar, Whole Grains and Heart Disease: 50 Years of Confusion. Nutrients, 10(1), 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10010039.
 
[3] Migala, Jessica. “Body Type Diet: Are You an Ectomorph, Mesomorph, or Endomorph?: Everyday Health.” EverydayHealth.com, 8 Oct. 2019, www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/body-type-diet-are-you-ectomorph-mesomorph-endomorph/.
 
[4] MPA Supps. “All About Insulin Resistance and Sensitivity.” MPA Supps, 2020, mpasupps.com/blogs/news/all-about-insulin-resistance-and-sensitivity.
 
[5] Schoenfeld, B. J., Aragon, A. A., Wilborn, C. D., Krieger, J. W., & Sonmez, G. T. (2014). Body composition changes associated with fasted versus non-fasted aerobic exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(1), 54. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-014-0054-7.

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Amino Acid Metabolism: Analyzing KEEG Pathways

The microbiome opens the pathway to understanding how the body works more and more every day. With a Thryve Gut Test, we have the ability to analyze your DNA and look deep into many physiological functions carried out by your system on a molecular level. This is even more important when it comes to amino acid metabolism. Thanks to these advancements in technology and following KEGG pathway maps, we can determine how efficiently your body uses amino acids to burn fat, improve mood, and balance hormones. Let’s take a look at the biomarkers for amino acid metabolism and how Thryve Inside can help you feel your best!

 

What is Amino Acid Metabolism?

 
Around medical circles, amino acids are called the building blocks of life. They are necessary for everything from protein synthesis to creating the nucleotides that are responsible for our DNA. The production, use, or degradation of amino acids is known as our amino acid metabolism.
 
Suffice to say, we need this process to work like clockwork so we can function properly. Unfortunately, keeping your amino acid metabolism on track might be a bit tricky. That’s because there are many moving parts when it comes to amino acid metabolism.

 

How Many Amino Acids Do Humans Need?

 
Experts believe the human body needs 20 specific amino acids to run optimally [1]. We can only produce eleven of these building blocks. So, the other nine must be consumed through diet.
 
Typically found in animal products, these nine building blocks are called essential amino acids. Therefore, vegans must take extra precautions to ensure their amino acid metabolism is running sufficiently.
 
To complicate things even more, not all amino acids going through the same metabolic processes. That’s why testing your DNA with Thryve can help get you amino acid metabolism on track!

 

Amino Acid Metabolism: Synthesis and Degradation of Each Amino Acid

 
Amino acid metabolism is one of the most complex systems in KEGG pathways. There are so many roads you can take. Each protein has its own unique requirements for amino acid metabolism, just as they all serve unique functions throughout the body. Here is a quick breakdown of the amino acid metabolism of 20 amino acids.

 

Alanine Metabolism

 
This amino acid is produced when the enzyme alanine-glyoxylate transaminase reacts with a coupled interconversion of the amino acid glycine that’s gone through the glyoxylate cycle.
 
The enzyme alanine—tRNA ligase will bind the new L-alanine molecule to alanyl-tRNA synthetase. Together, these compounds promote protein synthesis.

 

Uses of Alanine

 
About 8% of human proteins contain this amino acid in their structure. Our body uses alanine for many things. Perhaps, one of the most important functions of this amino acid is that it serves as energy during an intermittent fasting protocol.
 
Much like ketosis, this form of energy production takes place in the liver. Alanine gets converted into pyruvate. As a result, it’s used to create glucose via the gluconeogenesis pathway. Otherwise, the pyruvate goes into the Citric Acid cycle to become connective tissues. 

 

Aspartate Metabolism

 
Aspartate is a byproduct of a metabolic process known as transamination. During this process, a compound will take an amino acid from a group of compounds to create other amino acids. In the case of aspartate metabolism, enzymes aspartate aminotransferase or amino acid oxidase facilitate transamination from oxaloacetate.
 
Just like with alanine, Aspartyl-tRNA synthetase couples aspartate to aspartyl tRNA. This interaction generates protein synthesis.

 

Uses of Aspartate

 
About 7% of human protein contains this amino acid. It’s essential for creating many molecules related to signaling within the brain. One of its main byproducts is N-acetyl-aspartate. This is the second most abundant compound in the brain [2]. It’s positioned only after the next amino acid derivative.

 

Glutamate Metabolism

 
When it comes to amino acid metabolism, biosynthesis and degradation of glutamate are one of the most complex metabolic processes. Glutamate is produced from the amino acid glutamine.
 
First, the enzyme glutaminase gets activated by phosphate. This new molecule comes into contact with glutamine, causing transamination. The end result is glutamate. 

 

Uses of Glutamate

 
Glutamate is an integral component in the gut-brain-axis. On its own, it’s an excitatory neurotransmitter. It helps promote focus and helps us fee; motivated.
 
Oddly enough, this amino acid is also the precursor to gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) [3]. GABA is an essential neurotransmitter that helps promote a calming effect on the system. Seeing as glutamate is the most abundant molecule in the brain, it’s essential to have this amino acid to prevent stress.

 

Glycine Metabolism

 
Our body has many ways to synthesis glycine. Glycine production happens mostly within our liver and kidneys.
 
It can be created when various enzymes interact with amino acids, including:
• Serine
• Threonine
• Choline
• Hydroxyproline
 
Just as there many ways to create this amino acid, degradation can go down a number of paths [4]. Typically, it goes through the Glycine Cleavage System (GCS). This metabolic process happens when enzymes are triggered by excess glycine in the system.
 
Glycine degradation also happens in the presence of the enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase. The last amino acid metabolism process that results in glycine degradation is when this building block reacts with the enzyme peroxisomal D-amino acid oxidase. In the end, it creates glyoxylate that promotes carbohydrate synthesis.

 

Uses of Glycine

 
As complex as the amino acid metabolism of glycine is, so is its various uses. Glycine plays a monumental role in digestive health. It’s essential for the production of bile acids that make for smoother bowel movements.
 
It also has potent antioxidant abilities. This amino acid plays a large role in our gut-immunity-axis. Lastly, glycine may help with creating proteins that help with wounds.

 

Serine Metabolism

 
Amino acid metabolism is very dependent on other amino acids. Such is the case with serine and glycine metabolism. In fact, as we mentioned, serine derivatives are essential for the degradation of glycine.
 
Serine is synthesized by a long chain of reactions. The molecule glycerate interacts with the enzyme glycerate kinase. This process yields glycerate 3-phosphate.
 
When glycerate 3-phosphate comes into contact with phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase, it becomes phosphohydroxypyruvate. Lastly, phosphohydroxypyruvate gets converted into serine when it interacts with phosphoserine transaminase.

 

Uses of Serine

 
It takes a lot of work to make serine. However, it’s necessary for so many metabolic functions. This nonessential amino acid is essential for the production of purines and pyrimidines during nucleotide metabolism.
 
As we discussed, serine is necessary for glycine synthesis. However, you also need serine to create cysteine.

 

Threonine Metabolism

 
This amino acid is essential, so you must consume it through diet. Plants and microbes produce this amino acid when the amino acid homoserine interacts with the enzyme α-aspartyl-semialdehyde. This new compound reacts with aspartic acid to create the amino acid. We can consume this amino acid from plant products or animals that eat a lot of it.
 
Threonine degradation happens when the enzyme threonine dehydrogenase turns the amino acid into pyruvate. Along this metabolic pathway, the new compound undergoes a process known as thiolysis.
 
In thiolysis, a compound interacts with an alcohol known as thiol. In threonine production, thiolysis is accelerated by coenzyme-A (CoA). The end result is either glycine or acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA is essential for many functions, including fat metabolism. 

 

Uses of Threonine

 
This amino acid plays a significant part in our central nervous system. It is tied to many spine-related functions. It has been used to treat incurable conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

 

Cysteine Metabolism

 
This amino acid is considered semiessential. That means our metabolism can synthesize cysteine, but not enough to support the human body’s needs. There are many metabolic functions that result in cysteine production, including serine, glycine, and threonine metabolism.
 
Many enzymes play a role in the degradation of cysteine, including:
• Cysteine Dioxygenase
• Amino-Acid Racemase
• Cysteine Lyase
• Cystathionine γ-lyase
• Cysteine—tRNA ligase
• Cysteine Reductase
• Cysteine Transaminase
 
The end result is a number of molecules essential to several functions, including energy metabolism.

 

Uses of Cysteine

 
This amino acid is crucial for protein synthesis. It’s also essential for the production of glutathione. Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that helps boost your immune system and improve your skin health [5].

 

Methionine Metabolism

 
Methionine is a sulfur-based essential amino acid that gets metabolized along two pathways. The most well-known is the Methionine Cycle [6]. Here, ATP (our energetic currency) offers up adenosine. Adenosine interacts with sulfur in methionine.
 
This reaction activates the amino acid’s methyl group, forming S−Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe). From there, the methyl group can become removed from SAMe to create S−Adenosyl Homocysteine (SAH). The body then can covert SAH to create the amino acid homocysteine.
 
From there, homocysteine goes through a new pathway, called a transsulfuration sequence. Vitamin B6 catalyzes this process, predominantly in the liver. Here the amino acid is metabolized for its benefits.
 
When cysteine enters the cycle, it can then create the super antioxidant, glutathione. If it does become oxidized, it will instead transform into taurine.
If methionine doesn’t go through these processes, it can be metabolized back into methionine. The most common way for this to happens is when the enzyme methionine synthase commandeers a methyl group from the compound methylated folic acid (MTHF).
 
With the assistance of Vitamin B12, this new compound then interacts with homocysteine, which diverts back to methionine.
 
Otherwise, a similar process will take place in the liver. Instead, this time it’s betaine (TMG) that changes homocysteine into methionine instead of MTHF.

 

Uses of Methionine

 
Methionine is essential angiogenesis. This process is what promotes the growth of healthy blood cells. However, levels of methionine can’t get too high. An overabundance can be a prelude to cancer. Levels need to remain balanced between methionine and cysteine. That’s why it’s important to analyze your KEGG pathways with Thryve.

 

Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine Metabolism 

 
These are the three essential branch-chained amino acids. These amino acid are synthesized in plants through a series of events that produces pyruvic acid. The process creates an intermediate known as α-ketoisovalerate.
 
From there, α-ketoisovalerate interacts with one of the following enzymes:
• Acetolactate Synthase
• Acetohydroxy Acid Isomeroreductase
• Dihydroxyacid Dehydratase
• Valine Aminotransferase
 
Catabolizing these branch-chained amino acids is different than the other 20. Much of this process transpires within muscles. The two main enzymes to kickstart the process for all three are aminotransferase and dehydrogenase. These findings are interesting because valine is glucogenic, leucine is ketogenic, and isoleucine is both.

 

Uses of Branch-Chained Amino Acids

 
Branched-chained amino acids are crucial for hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal. This autonomous process sees news cells push healthy ones out into the bloodstream so they can do their work while the next batch grows. Unfortunately, too much valine can lead to insulin resistance [7]. So, it’s imperative you know how your valine levels look.

 

Lysine Metabolism

 
Plants, bacteria, and algae synthesize this essential amino acid in two different ways. The first is the diaminopimelate pathway. This process includes aspartate, much like the production of threonine.
 
Otherwise, it heads down the α-aminoadipate (AAA) pathway. This process is catalyzed by members of the glutamate family. It also is a common metabolic pathway for yeast species. Both pathways have their own array of enzymes to carry out these complex processes.
 
The most common way to catabolize lysine is through the saccharopine pathway. This process usually transpires within mitochondria inside the liver. First, the enzyme α-aminoadipic semialdehyde synthase (AASS) releases lysine-ketoglutarate reductase (LKR) to break down the lysine.
 
When α-ketoglutarate enters the scene, it produces saccharopine, thanks to NADPH donating a proton. Next, saccharopine dehydrogenase (SDH) dehydrates the compound. In the end, you get either AASS or glutamate.
 
These molecules then get broken down further into α-ketoadipate. Eventually, it continues to degrade until it reaches glutaryl-CoA. Inevitably, glutaryl-CoA gets oxidated and decarboxylated to become acetyl-CoA. This metabolite is essential for carbohydrate metabolism.

 

Uses of Lysine

 
Lysine is used for so many vital functions. It plays a pivotal role in the production of protein. However, it also cross-links collagen peptides. Therefore, lysine is a must for all-natural skincare.
 
This essential amino acid is also required for the uptake of nutrients. Low level of lysine can leave you susceptible to anemia. However, too much may lead to mental health issues.

 

Analyze Your Amino Acid Metabolism

 
Want to make sure your body is getting the protein it needs? The best way to find out if this is happening is to get your gut tested. Using KEGG pathways, we can map out where the deficiencies are. That way, we can get your gut health on the right track. From there, you will metabolize amino acids efficiently to create healthy blood cells, hair follicles, and muscle!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on the Tenth Edition of the Recommended Dietary Allowances. Recommended Dietary Allowances: 10th Edition. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1989. 6, Protein and Amino Acids. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234922/.
 
[2] Tsai, G, and J T Coyle. “N-Acetylaspartate in Neuropsychiatric Disorders.” Progress in Neurobiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 1995, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8532851.
 
[3] Petroff, Ognen A C. “GABA and Glutamate in the Human Brain.” The Neuroscientist : a Review Journal Bringing Neurobiology, Neurology and Psychiatry, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2002, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12467378.
 
[4] Wang, Weiwei, et al. “Glycine Metabolism in Animals and Humans: Implications for Nutrition and Health.” Amino Acids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23615880.
 
[5] Kerksick, C., & Willoughby, D. (2005). The antioxidant role of glutathione and N-acetyl-cysteine supplements and exercise-induced oxidative stress. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2(2), 38–44. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-2-2-38.
 
[6] Creative Proteomics. “Methionine Cycle Analysis Service.” Creative Proteomics, 1 May 2020, www.creative-proteomics.com/services/methionine-cycle-analysis-service.htm.
 
[7] Liao, Xiaoyu, et al. “A High Level of Circulating Valine Is a Biomarker for Type 2 Diabetes and Associated with the Hypoglycemic Effect of Sitagliptin.” Mediators of Inflammation, Hindawi, 11 Nov. 2019, www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2019/8247019/.
 

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What to Eat After a Gym Workout

By Gerry Morton, CEO of EnergyFirst, MS in Nutrition
 
You’ve come a long way. Your motivation is through the roof. Your workout days are scheduled and your regimen well thought-out for your personal fitness goals. Anything missing? 
 
It’s time to hone in on your post-workout nutritional needs. Does your current post-workout routine
• Replenish your body’s energy stores?
• Supply the nutrients your body needs to repair tissue damage?
• Encourage a positive muscle response (that is, the maintenance or, if desired, an increase in muscle tissue)?
 
Studies show that consuming the proper ratio of nutrients after your workout can not only recover or replenish what was damaged or used up but it also leads to an increase in fitness. In other words, your body doesn’t just “compensate” for what was lost. It supercompensates.
 
toned body
Okay, we might not get that shredded…but #goals.
 
On the flipside, inadequate post-workout nutrition can lead to more fatigue, muscle soreness, reduced performance at your next session, and less muscle mass gains.
 
Even though you may have eaten earlier in the day or plan on eating later in the day, a post-workout snack within 30 minutes to 2 hours will help you get the most out of your workout.

 

Effective Post-Workout Nutrition

 
Effective post-workout snacks include 2 elements:
 
Carbohydrates (approximately 1-1.5 grams per kg body weight) to replace glycogen stores.
 
Protein to provide amino acids. As opposed to pre-workout snacks that usually contain only carbohydrate, your post-workout one needs protein for muscle repair and rebuild.  In general, the amount needed is quite modest (as much as 20-25 grams). Anything greater than this is usually just burned as fuel.
 
Regardless of what your personal goals and preferences are, generally speaking, your post-workout snack needs to have a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates from whole foods. If there is any fat, you want it to be a low to moderate amount. Also, avoid high-calorie, highly-processed foods.

 

So, What Are Some Foods to Include in Your Gym Bag?

 
active diet
Does your bag look this organized? 
A great rapidly digesting protein that efficiently stimulates muscle protein synthesis is whey protein. Whey protein isolate from a quality, whole food source like milk from grass-fed cows can be blended into a shake with a carbohydrate source (such as 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of fruit).
 
What makes shakes so great?
 
• If you don’t have much of an appetite after working out, this is a great way to pack some nutrition in. Oftentimes, liquids are more easily tolerated than solids after working out. As a plus, you can make a meal out of it. Make a protein-rich green smoothie by mixing in a serving of an organic green drink powder to pack in several servings of vegetables and a tablespoon of an omega-3 oil or avocado for healthy fat.
 
• Low-fat chocolate milk has long been touted for its post-exercise benefits. The reason is because of its favorable protein and carbohydrate content. It has about 8 to 11 grams of protein, and extra carbohydrate.
 
• Whole grain crackers with peanut butter (avoid partially hydrogenated oils in the “ingredients” list)
 
• Whole grain crackers or 1 slice of toast with 1-2 hard-boiled, farm-fresh eggs
 
• Lean, roasted, whole-cut ham with grapes
 
• Grass-fed beef jerky with piece of fruit (such as orange or grapes)
 
Natural protein bar with fruit (no hydrogenated oils)
 
• Sweet potato slices dipped in tahini (for a 100% plant-based soups/snack)
 
• Greek-yogurt with berries and muesli
 
• Roasted turkey breast slice with part-skim mozzarella cheese and 1 slice of whole grain bread
 
• Almond butter and banana
 
• Tuna with 1 slice of whole grain toast or fruit
 
• Chicken (canned with no salt) and 1/2 cup of quinoa
 
• Whole wheat pita with hummus

 

Extending the Post-Workout Routine

 
Now that you’ve got adequate nutrients (including protein) in your post-workout snack, you can further enhance the rate of muscle protein synthesis by making sure of one thing: get enough protein throughout the day. Your muscle is stimulated to increase its protein synthesis rates for up to 24 hours after your workout.
 
crunches abs
You got this!
Like peanut butter on toast, evenly spread your protein intake throughout the day. Don’t pile it all up for dinner time. Plan to distribute some of your protein intake into your other meals and snacks as well.
 
Some commonly-used protein foods include:
• Greek yogurt (6 oz): 18 grams
• Mozzarella (part skim, 1 oz): 7 grams
• Soy nuts (1 oz): 12 grams
• Pinto beans (1/2 cup): 11 grams
• Salmon (3 oz): 22 grams
• Tuna (3 oz): 22 grams
• Chicken (3 oz): 28 grams
• Turkey (roasted, 3 oz) 25 grams
• Egg, large (1): 6 grams

 

Hydration – Don’t Forget it!

 
We cannot discuss post-workout nutrition without touching the subject of proper hydration. Staying well-hydrated is important before, during, and after workouts. For most athletes, consuming 16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise is a good rule of thumb.
 
When workouts last longer than 60 minutes and/or increase in intensity, simply drinking water may not be enough. Electrolytes lost through sweat can be replenished with a sports drink.

 

Beyond the Post-Workout Meal

 
It goes without saying that eating a healthy diet all day long, regardless of whether you worked out or not, will help you maximize your success. Context matters. You need more than just a healthy, planned post and pre-workout meal/snack. You need overall healthy nutrition during the entire day.
 
Food sources are turned into energy that helps power us through our day. Not only do we consume the foods we digest, but so do the bacteria living our gut. That is why Thryve works with you on a prebiotic-rich diet plan when you join their gut health program.
 
When Thryve tests your microbiome with their at-home test kit, they formulate a personalized probiotic just for you. Knowing which bacteria is in your system, they come up with a diet plan to help the bacteria survive. These are just some of the perks of the Thryve Gut Health Program.
 
Since every individual has different tolerance levels, experiment with these standard suggestions a bit. If needed, make minor tweaks in your routine until you find out what works best for you and your performance.
 
Happy exercise! Then, happy post-exercise eating!
 
Gerry Morton is the CEO of EnergyFirst, holds an MS in Nutrition and is an experienced athlete who has competed in 30+ marathons and 4 Iron-man triathlons. Gerry is an excellent source of information on nutrition, supplementation and exercise. http://www.energyfirst.com is known for offering the world’s best tasting, highest quality, all natural, premium nutrition products such as pure whey protein powder, green drinks, superfood green energy bars, health supplements etc. Twitter: @EnergyFirst

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