Sports Nutrition Takes Your Workout Up a Notch!
Pop quiz hotshot was a huge saying in the mid 90’s. If you haven’t seen the movie Speed yet (hence the reference) I’d highly recommend you go check it out….after you read this blogpost. But you don’t need to be Keanu Reeves in order to get your pop quiz. Now this quiz won’t be about a speeding bus but instead will tackle sports nutrition. So here’s your quiz hotshot:
Would you expect to perform well on an empty stomach? Furthermore, do you think it would help to consume nutrients during your workout as well?
If you answered no and yes, in that order, you know more than the average exercise physiologist (seriously). Performance nutrition is still cutting edge, so a lot of people are unaware of what to put in their body before, during, and after their workout. However, when you word it as I did, most people just assume that sports nutrition is common sense. But common sense isn’t all that common, because I’ve never ran into anyone who consumes adequate nutrition around their workout. Whether your goal is to improve performance or simply shed bodyfat, planning your nutrition with your training is essential.
Case in point: nothing works better than combining protein and carbs during your workout. A lot of people in the training game understand having a protein shake after a workout, but sipping a mixture of a fast digesting protein along with quick absorbing carbohydrates is a huge key in allowing you to train harder.
Sport scientists took sports nutrition for a test drive. Subjects performed a cycling workout to exhaustion – they then came back the next day to do a time trial (a time trial is where you run/cycle for a set distance in as minimal amount of time as possible). Time trial performance improved for those consuming both protein and carbohydrates, while those who consumed a placebo had a decrease in performance (1).
As a personal trainer, I have a hierarchy with my clients. As they get more advanced with their training – heavy deadlifts, Olympic lifting, sprinting – I have then consume a workout cocktail during their sessions. This varies from person to person, but a good place to start is using whey protein along with a fast digesting carb, like maltodextrin. The amount needs to be adjusted based on your goals and body size, but a minimum of 30 grams of carbs is a good place to start.
The stuff just plain works. As your workout goes on, your body’s supply of glycogen (think energy) depletes. This is a way to make sure that your energy stores don’t completely empty. Whether your goal is to get strong, add muscle, train for a sport, or just get in fantastic shape, consuming protein and carbohydrates during a session will take your workouts to the next level!
1. Rustad, P.I, Saller, M., et al. “Intake of Protein Plus Carbohydrate During the First Two Hours After Exhaustive Cycling Improves Performance the Following Day” (2016) PLos One 11;4