Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition by Stew Smith

Nutrition – The Fundamentals of Eating Right for More Energy
On average, when people stop exercising and no longer care about what they eat, they can gain five to ten pounds a year. That is why in five short years, people step on a scale and cannot believe they are nearly FIFTY pounds overweight. Weight has a way of sneaking up on you over time.  You do not get overweight overnight and you do not lose the weight overnight either.  Both take time, but fortunately losing weight can be faster if you follow a strict nutritional and exercise plan.  Both take only minutes a day.

Here are a few eating tips TO LOSE FAT and some ideas on quick exercises routines to try when time is limited:

TIP #1:
Lay off the fast food – Before you go on a trip or a long day at work, try to eat before you leave and pack a lunch.  Foods high in protein mixed with a natural carbohydrate are great energy meals.  Try a lean turkey or chicken sandwich with vegetables like lettuce and tomato.  Try mustard and limit mayo for reduced calories.  Fruits are great quick snacks too.  Try apples, oranges, bananas for natural sources of energy.

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TIP #2:
Wake up and burn some calories – As busy days pile up with more and more obligations, the scheduled 5:00 pm workout can easily get bumped!  Make thirty minutes of exercise fit into your mornings and do some type of workout.

–    Try biking, walking, or running for 30 minutes

–    Go to your gym or TV workout video for a quick circuit routine

–    Try calisthenics like jumping jacks / pushups / crunch routine and jumping jacks / squats / lunges / crunches

–    Try using dumbbells for arms and shoulders

–    Another Tip – if you do not schedule a workout – it does not exist!!

post-workout-recovery-tips-bodybuilding-2
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TIP #3:
Don’t wait – Start NOW! – Why wait?  When you can, you should try to eat at regularly scheduled times during the day.  Healthy snacks and meals will carry you through your stressful days much better than skipping meals or binge eating.  You will find that if you keep a good schedule, you will lose weight and inches.  Add exercise to the plan and you will also get fit and feel better than you have in years. Try an eating schedule of the following recommended times:
i.      0630 – breakfast
ii.      0930 – morning snack
iii.      1230 – lunch
iv.      1530 – afternoon snack
v.      1830 – dinner

If your days are longer than 15 to 18 hours you should try another light snack at 2100 (9:00 pm) of foods like yogurt, grapes, milk.  Other snacks during the day can be salads, fruits, lean meats, small sandwiches, boiled eggs and others.  See chart on next page for better ideas on what to eat during the day and before and after exercise sessions.

TIP #4:
Walk more for greater fat burn– When safety is not an issue, try to walk farther than normal when going about your normal day.  Burning a few more calories by walking is one of the easiest ways to walk off that extra weight.  Just twenty minutes of brisk walking can burn over 100 to 150 calories.

TIP #5:
Keep working the abdominal region – Not with food but with exercises like crunches, sit ups, and lower back stretches. When you do these exercises for just 5 to 10 minutes daily, it is easier to remember to watch your food intake and stop yourself from gorging.

Overall, it is important to keep up the habit of moving more and eating better foods for you. These tips can help you prevent unneeded weight gain.   If you limit too much of a macro-nutrient you will see decrease in athletic performances so keep up with carbs, protein, and fats.

See Fundamentals of Nutrition Chart below:

The Fundamentals of Nutrition OPTIONS

Morning Meal

(Serving = the size of your hand)

Eat 2 to 3 servings of any

*minimal – 1 quart water

Proteins – boiled egg whites, yogurt, milk, lean meats, protein shake, veges w/eggs

Carb/Protein mix – some fruits like grapes, bananas, blueberries – cereal with milk…

Mid Morning Meal

Eat 1 serving

Protein/carb meal bar, boiled egg, Go-Gurt, Tuna…

Fruit salad, apple, orange, banana etc…

Lunch

1 qt water

Chicken, tuna, fish, lean meat sandwich on grain bread

mix meat with salad

Mixed salads with variety of vegetables – green leafy lettuce, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, onion

Mid Afternoon Meal

1 quart water

Optional – peanuts, almonds that are high calories / good fats

Optional – juice, fruit, vegetable – small salad

Evening Meal

1 qt water

Lean chicken, fish, meat, broiled NOT FRIED

Large Salad – above

eggplant

Pre – Post Workout Meals

Before Your Cardio Workout

Before Your Lifting or PT Workout

Carbohydrates – 75 – 100%

Carbohydrates 75% & Protein 25%

Prior to running, swimming, biking etc…at medium to high intensity levels for 30-40 minutes, it is best to eat a small snack to boost sugar levels in your body especially if your workout is before your morning meal.  After a night of sleeping and not eating for over 10-12 hours, you need a boost to help you get through the workout.  Fruit or fruit juice is fine 20 minutes prior to workout and during is fine.  Foods with small amounts of protein can be eaten pre-workout and will help post workout requirements of protein too.

Sample Ideas for pre-workout snack are:

1-2 hours prior to lifting eat protein foods and carbohydrates so the protein is there for you after the workout. Lifting weights and doing high repetition calisthenics will break down your muscles and require protein immediately after your workout – within 30 minutes.  Foods high in carbohydrates to replace the loss of glycogen stores are needed within this time too.

For a great rule of thumb – after you workout eat protein, carbohydrates and minimize fatty foods.

Foods that should be considered are:

Bananas, apples, oranges, carrots, juice, some sports drinks, (any fruit of choice really).

Before workouts longer than 30 to 40 minutes, add some protein to stabilize absorption rates so you can last longer:

Eat the following about 1 to 2 hours prior to exercise:  Yogurt, protein drink, chocolate milk, boiled egg, slice of meat or cheese, a meal replacement bar as a snack

Sip water and carbohydrate drink throughout the workout

Pre-workout ideas for weightlifters and boot camp style PT’ers:

Bananas, berries, boiled eggs, tuna fish,

Drink a fruit Drink or a small amount of Protein or eat a Carb bar is an option.

A good carbohydrate bar that we like is the LÄRABAR. We have used Larabar’s on long endurance events and it does well.

Protein or carb replacement drinks are great if post workout occurs mid-day or early morning.  See above meal options for protein and carbohydrates sources and these below:

Tuna, chicken, boiled eggs, and green leafy salads with tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber, carrots, onions, and light dressing or oil.

Post Workout Meals

The key is to replace carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during the workout – drink juice or chocolate milk immediately after workout IF you lost several pounds during the workout.  A banana, kiwi, or potato will replace the electrolytes just as well.

We like to drink electrolytes with Nuun Active: Hydrating Electrolyte Tablets.

We have used this on multiple long endurance events and it works great.

It also does not have sugar so it is better for you and does not foul up your water bottle.

I like to eat a can of chicken noodle soup after a tough workout where I lose 5-10 lbs of sweat in humid or arid environments.  The soup offers potassium, sodium, calcium, carbs, and protein all rolled into one meal!

Another important factor is to add protein to help rebuild muscles – see above meal / snack ideas within 30 minutes of workouts for optimal recovery / growth.

Note – this chart applies to active teens as well but as a growing adolescent athlete you should be focused on eating to grow stronger not on the aesthetics side of fitness which can dehydrate you and potentially stunt growth.

Questions from our readers online.

Question: I wanted to know what the best fuel or protein shake is to drink after a hard workout and when I am trying to recover?

Answer: Here are a few protein shake recipes we like click here:

Question: Do you have a list of supplements that you can take after a workout that are good?

Answer: Yes; check out this list here:

Question: Where can i find out how to lose fat tips from Stew Smith? Read the above info and cut out fast food and excess sugar.

Question: Where can I get Stew Smith’s book on fitness?

Answer: You can pick up a copy here at Amazon.com.

There are thousands of athletes that have used this book to get ready for BUDS and other Special Forces programs around the world.

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Pre and Post Workout Nutrition by Stew Smith