Fueling for your life and activities is a must, but are there post-workout meal combinations that could optimize your adaptations? Let's check it out. Pre-workout fuel Pre-workout meals and snacks all depend on how close to your training session you're consuming food. It will vary if you're eating within 60 minutes, 2 hours, 2-4 hours, etc. Check here for more information. Intra-workout fuel Intra-workout fuel and hydration will also depend on duration. In most cases, fuel isn't necessary intra-workout for sessions less than 90 minutes. This is most likely during a cardio session, not a strength training session. As for hydration, yes, let's hydrate before, duration, and after training. Post-workout fuel Post-workout meals are a great time to focus on all macronutrients (protein/carb/fat). Yes, there have been studies that show there's a preferred anabolic window post-workout to get protein in, but it isn't significant enough to only focus on that timeframe. It's more important to spread your protein sources across your whole day than it is to only try to consume protein right after a workout. When building your post-workout meal, aim for its contents to include protein + vegetable + carb + fat. Ideally, your meal would have 20-30g of protein, which is equivalent to 3-5oz of lean meat or seafood. Post-workout meal examples: 1. Salmon (protein/fat) + asparagus (vegetable) + rice (carb) 2. Chicken (protein) + bell pepper/onions (vegetable) + tortilla (carb) + cheese (fat) 3. Lean beef (protein) + lettuce/tomato/onion (vegetable) + bun (carb) + cheese (fat) Although meal timing is less important than your overall daily-weekly consumption, I would suggest eating at least a little something within an hour or so of your workout to optimize your recovery. I understand that's not always possible, so if a full meal is out of the question, try to aim for a protein + carb source as a quick snack. Quick protein + carb sources: 1. Greek yogurt (protein/carb) + berries (carb) 2. Tuna pack (protein) + crackers (carb) 3. Hard boiled eggs (protein) + bell peppers/snap peas (carb) 4. Cottage cheese (protein/carb) + cucumbers/berries (carb) Keep these ideas in your back pocket for your future workouts!
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