Nutrition before and after cardio
It turns out that irrational nutrition and using incorrectly selected products (or the right ones, but at the wrong time) negate the effectiveness of the most intense and high-quality workout. The answer to the question “what exactly do you need to eat before and after a workout” depends directly on what goal you want to achieve and the type of training. Today we will tell you how to eat before and after a cardio workout.
What is cardio training?
Let’s first understand the term “cardio training.” Cardio training is any work with large muscle groups, but only in an intense (aerobic) rhythm, continuous and long enough. We can refer the following activities to cardio:
- brisk walking and running;
- jumping (including jumping rope);
- skiing, rowing, aerobics, and any cardio exercise that mimics all of these activities.
Absolutely all cardio workouts make us struggle to maintain the initially set pace. At the same time, our pulse begins to beat more often; the heart muscle is actively involved in the work.
Activities of this type help to achieve three important goals at once:
1. Lose extra pounds.
2. Ensure the health of the cardiovascular system.
3. Increase the endurance of the body.
Nutrition before and after cardio
Nutrition before and after cardio activities is just as important as these activities themselves (their duration, training plan, and exercise set) because the normal functioning of your body, energy, and muscle condition directly depend on nutrition. Recommendations regarding nutrition “before and after” cardio are fundamentally different than those given regarding nutrition “before and after” the same strength training.
If your main goal is to lose weight, then the main principle of your diet will be: to spend fewer calories per day than you get from food. After any cardio, your main task will be to restore the glycogen level in the body – a complex carbohydrate responsible for energy reserves. If you do not feed the body on time with this carbohydrate, your metabolic processes will slow down significantly, plus the overall endurance of the body will decrease.
Based on this, we draw the main conclusion – starving after cardio training is strictly prohibited; this will only harm the body, but definitely will not help to lose weight. If you drink a glass of juice, milkshake, or yogurt within half an hour after training, the carbohydrates from these drinks will give you strength and energy. Calories from properly selected foods eaten after class will also not go to your “for the future” on your sides and hips – everything you eat will go to building and updating your muscles.
Important principles of nutrition before starting cardio
Nowadays, the world’s leading trainers advise people with a low percentage of fat under the skin to do cardio in the morning; such training will be extremely effective for them. Efficiency will increase even more if you consume a product rich in amino acids 20-30 minutes before the start of classes. An ideal choice would be highly nutritious protein-type foods, fast-digesting – boiled egg whites (2 pieces will be enough), or a whey protein shake.
Fatter people with a high percentage of subcutaneous fat seeking to lose weight through cardio training can exercise anytime. The main thing is the very fact of training, properly selected workouts, and proper nutrition. Experts advise such trainees to eat 2 hours before the start of classes.
The right choice for them would be protein foods (low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt, meat, boiled eggs) or slow-type carbohydrates with a fairly low glycemic index. If you prefer carbohydrates, choose cereal without oil (except semolina), brown rice, steamed vegetables, or pasta made from whole-grain flour. Eating this before your cardio workout will give you a much-needed energy boost, keep your insulin levels in check, and allow you to burn more body fat.
The importance of drinking during cardio training
Many “pseudo-specialists” forbid drinking water during activities, but this is a huge mistake . ! During cardio training, you can and should drink water because you lose a lot of fluid and salts. The body is in dire need of replenishing such losses! Moreover, dehydration is dangerous because it interferes with the normal release of fluid (sweating).
The optimal drinking regimen is as follows: drink 200 milliliters of water every 15-20 minutes. If you train at high or low temperatures, it makes sense to drink 300 milliliters. Don’t be afraid to drink regularly; your stomach will empty quickly due to the workout! The ideal drink for cardio training can be considered ordinary clean water without gas. It perfectly fills the lack of fluid.
Suppose your workouts are excessive and usually last longer than 40 minutes. In that case, it makes sense to replenish the loss of fluid, trace elements and salts not with water but with special isotonic drinks. You don’t have to buy this drink at the gym; you can easily make it yourself!
To get a drink, mix two teaspoons of sugar, a pinch of salt (can be iodized), half a liter of warm water, and thirty milliliters of lemon and orange juice. Attention, citrus juices must be freshly squeezed; the juices from the store contain too much extra (meaning preservatives, flavor enhancers, dyes, etc.).
Food after cardio
It is not recommended to eat immediately after cardio because there is a process of intensive fat burning. It makes sense to wait at least 45 minutes and then start eating. Pausing for an hour or two is undesirable and even dangerous because this is the path to muscle destruction.
So, 45 minutes after your workout, you can use any fast protein (egg whites, whey protein, lean meat, cottage cheese will do). Slow carbohydrates are also suitable, the same ones recommended before the workout start. By the way, the world-famous bodybuilder and nutritionist Chris Aceto recommends eating proteins 45 minutes after cardio but carbohydrates – an hour and a half after its completion. Please note that if you train in the evening, your dinner should be extremely light.
What not to eat after cardio?
The first “taboo” is fats. They prevent carbohydrates and proteins from entering the bloodstream from the stomach, which is why the fat content of the food you eat after class should be minimal.
The second taboo is caffeine. It prevents the muscles from getting enough protein to recover, which is why after cardio, forget about chocolate, tea, and coffee. Banned even chocolate protein.
Now you know exactly what you can and should eat before and after cardio training and what you should categorically refrain from. Drink enough water, exercise with benefit and pleasure, and eat right, and then your figure and health will be in perfect order!
|What is cardio training?||Let’s first understand the term “cardio training”.|
|Nutrition before and after cardio||Nutrition before and after cardio activities is just as important as these activities themselves (their duration, training plan, set of exercises), because the normal functioning of your body, your energy, and muscle condition directly depend on nutrition.|
|Important principles of nutrition before starting cardio||Nowadays, the world’s leading trainers advise people with a low percentage of fat under the skin to do cardio in the morning, for them such training will be extremely effective.|
|The importance of drinking during cardio training||Many “pseudo-specialists” forbid drinking water during activities, but this is a huge mistake! During cardio training, you can and should drink water, because you lose a lot of fluid and salts, and the body is in dire need of replenishing such losses! Moreover, dehydration is dangerous, because it interferes with the normal release of fluid (sweating).|
|Food after cardio||It is not recommended to eat immediately after cardio, because there is a process of intensive fat burning.|
|What not to eat after cardio?||The first “taboo” is fats.|