Get the Most Out of Your Workout.
It doesn't matter if you're lifting weights, doing aerobics, or going to a spinning class. If you want to see results you should pay attention to what you eat and drink before, during, and after your workout – how much of it you need to consume. Here are four tips to building an energy-boosting nutrition plan for more impactful workouts and performances.
1. Be clever when choosing foods
A varied, healthy, and targeted nutrition foundation is a requirement for health, as well as optimal performance and development. It is a puzzle piece that lets you realize your full performance potential. Choose your foods wisely to supply your body with valuable nutrients in the best possible way. Avoid ready-made meals such as cup-a-soups and fast food and instead choose whole foods and minimally processed foods: Try natural yogurt instead of yogurt with added sugars (such as yogurt with added fruit), whole grains instead of white flour products, homemade salad dressings with virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs instead of ready-made dressings. You can find more tips for a healthy diet on our blog.
2. The right protein intake is key
An increased protein intake is key for those who desire to build muscle mass or decrease body fat. Keep in mind, the exact individual protein requirements are governed by many different variables. According to a recent meta-analysis, approximately 1.6g of protein/kg bodyweight seems optimal for maximal muscle mass and strength gains. Occasionally some well-conditioned athletes can handle a daily protein intake up to a maximum of 2.2g/kg bodyweight. Current recommendations for protein intakes during periods of calorie reduction suggest similar amounts.
When the goal is maximal muscle growth, the total daily protein amount ideally should be split evenly across 4 (to 5) meals into regular intervals across the day: breakfast, lunch, a snack after training, and dinner, as well as an additional snack before going to bed (if required) should therefore contain amounts of 0.3-0.4 (0.5) g of protein/kg body weight.
3. Maintain proper hydration
Drink enough! During exercise, you should drink small amounts in regular intervals, especially if the workouts are sweat-inducing and of longer duration. Water is our most important elixir of life and is involved in practically all of our bodily functions. More than half of our body is made up of water. A fluid balance supports physical and mental performance, and a lack of fluids can lead to decreases in concentration and performance. An easy indicator to check your fluid balance is the color of your urine: light yellow urine often indicates a good fluid balance in the body. In contrast, slightly darker urine (similar to the color of apple juice or beer) is typically a sign that the fluid intake is too low or of dehydration.
4. The energy balance is crucial for maximal muscle growth and weight reduction.
An energy deficit leads to a reduction in body weight. To achieve this the body has to be supplied with less energy than is actually required. To avoid drops in performance, weight loss should always happen slowly. Excessive diets add destructive stress to a body that is already working hard to complete your workouts and are therefore taboo. A moderate restriction of your energy intake works safely and leads to sustainable changes in fat loss and fitness. Incidentally: fat loss and concurrent muscle growth is possible through a combination of high protein intake and intense workouts. However, if huge gains in muscle mass are what you're after, you cannot achieve them through a calorie deficit diet. For maximal muscle growth, you need a surplus in calories to maintain a positive energy balance.