What up? Hopefully you’re living your best life today and loving every minute of it. I definitely am at the moment because I’m eating my daily 1/2 cup of oatmeal. I’ve made a promise/agreement/commitment to myself. No more popcorn. I’m not even going to buy it. So, if you’re one of those nice people who likes to surprise me with Boom Chicka Pop Kettlecorn every now and then, just don’t. But I’ll tell you what you can buy me. Rx Bar NUT BUTTER (yum). Holy moly. The vanilla almond butter is magical. I’m so glad I only have the packets of it so I don’t just spoon feed myself out of the jar. Real talk. Portion sizes are everything.
Anyway, I’m not saying that Boom Chicka Pop Kettlecorn is bad. I’ll probably eat it again one day. But I was stating to get a little bit addicted to it, so I had to cut myself off. It was a semi great way to get some carbohydates into my sometimes too low carb (for me) lifestyle. But I’m moving on to oatmeal. I was already eating oatmeal from time to time. I love the gluten free rolled oats or the steel cut oats – both from Trader Joe’s. I mix a little bit of that NUT BUTTER (yum) I was telling you about. Not too much though. I also sometimes use the PB2 stuff if I want my fat to be under 10 grams for that. I top it off with some cinnamon, and there ya have it. It gives me some extra energy and keeps me full. I’ve been trying to pay attention to how my body feels in the gym (and let’s be real, when I am coaching too) when I eat a little bit more. I didn’t eat any this morning, but instead just stuck with my normal go to. I needed more.
Anyway, change of subject…but not really. Let’s talk about MEAL TIMING. I get questions about this sometimes. People love to eat (I get it) and they want to know when the best time to eat is and what they should be eating pre and post workouts.
Truth: I suck at eating at the opportune times. Believe it or not, I’ve improved a little bit. But I still have a long way to go. Ya girl eats breakfast in sections, in between coaching classes, and I usually don’t eat lunch until 2 or 2:30 pm. I also sometimes leave my protein shake in the freezer for too long, it gets frozen, and then it’s impossible to drink during that “opportune window of time.”
BUT shoutout to The Granite Games and Working Against Gravity for sending me this wonderful email over the weekend – all about meal timing. I figured it was ok to share on here since so many people who subscribe to the Granite Games email already saw it, and since Working Against Gravity, or WAG, is so generous to post SO MUCH CONTENT on their FREE BLOG.
Check them out! Working Against Gravity (“WAG”) is an online personalized nutrition coaching service that transforms the lives of their members by using a flexible dieting approach in a judgement-free environment with an engaged community to support you every step of the way!
Here is the email. I’m lazy, so I just copied and pasted it. But none of this is from me. It’s from people way smarter than me. I just wanted to clarify that again. **As always, I’d love to keep this convo going, so hit me up if you have any questions!
Dialing in your meal timing will give you an extra edge when you’re getting ready for a challenging workout. This means manipulating the amounts of protein, carbs and fats we talked about last week to ensure optimal performance.
Pre-Workout Nutrition: 1-3 Hours Before
This time-frame gives you time to digest and supplies your body with vitamins and minerals for optimal organ and muscle function.
Which macros and why?
- Carbs: Whatever the workout entails (long, short, endurance or resistance), eat a mix of high and low-GI carbs (for example, grains with leafy greens).
- Protein: Exercise damages muscle tissue, but protein keeps amino acids stocked while promoting protein synthesis. Make sure this meal includes a bit of lean protein.
- Fat: Fat slows the digestion of food so eat some, but keep it low. This will ensure that the protein and carbs you’re eating are more effectively utilized.
Pre-Workout Nutrition: 30 Minutes Before
Eating earlier is optimal but if you’re unable to (for example, if you’re working out early in the morning), eat immediately before.
Which macros and why?
- Carbs: With less time to digest whole food, stick with high-GI carbs. Examples include white rice, fruit, baby food, fuel pouches and carb/protein shakes. They digest easier and absorb quicker.
- Protein: Protein is important and we recommend opting for a whey protein shake because it’s fast digesting.
- Fat: Fat should mostly be avoided in this meal. It further slows digestion and you want those nutrients utilized as quickly as possible!
Post-Workout Nutrition: 0-2 Hours After
This meal enhances your recovery for the next day and the earlier you can refuel, the better! The Qualifiers are more challenging than your average day at the gym and your body won’t be recovering as quickly as usual. The sooner you’re refueled ad kicking into ‘recovery mode,’ the more prepared you’ll be for the next workout.
Which macros and why?
- Carbs: Carbs replenish glycogen stores, particularly right after a heavy workout. Sticking to high-GI carbs will be especially beneficial. If you workout multiple times daily or go to your job afterwards, then carb intake is extra important.
- Protein: Eat protein ASAP. Protein will continue promoting muscle maintenance and growth. A whey protein shake or another lean protein source will do the trick!
- Fat: Keep fat intake low here. Fat will slow the release of glycogen and decrease the rate of protein and carb digestion (which means a longer time before your fuel can aid in your recovery).
Post-Workout Nutrition: 2+ Hours After
This meal is especially important while competing in the Qualifiers because of the challenging nature of the workouts. It allows you to keep recovering from your earlier workout, and if it’s one of your last meals of the day it also prepares you for a good night’s sleep!
Now is the best time to fit in those essential macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals that you didn’t eat around workout time, such as fats and more fibrous vegetables.
Which macros and why?
- Carbs: Low-GI Carbs keep glycogen and glucose stocked without spiking insulin. You will get the benefits of carbs and feel full without the unnecessary spike of energy while you rest.
- Protein: Protein, especially slow digesting (casein) protein, is ideal for continued muscle growth and maintenance while you rest.
- Fat: Fats keep the digestion and release of carbs and insulin steady. So, the majority of your fat should be eaten during this time window. Fat also transports important vitamins and minerals around your body, required for healthy organ function.
We know it may seem like a lot to think about, but taking into account these meal timing tips may be the extra step that can land you a spot at the Granite Games Championship!
Keep pushing. Your dedication will pay off.
– Team WAG