If you are following a training program to strengthen and improve your overall shape, you probably know the basic principles of the diet to fuel your workouts and recovery. But in addition to the simple diet, how to avoid alcohol and consume alcohol easily, there are many nutritional tactics you can learn that can help you stay stronger than ever.
We researched and compiled six nutrition rules to bring you closer to your strength goals.
Protein = Potency
A study by the University of Connecticut (Storrs) compared the standard diet of 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight (which the Institute of Medicine considers an appropriate amount for the average person to eat), o An athlete’s diet of strength of 0.8 grams per pound and a protein-rich diet of 1.6 grams per pound. When individuals ate a protein-rich diet, they experienced an increase in nitrogen balance, which is an indicator of how much protein is stored in the body. And if that body belongs to someone involved in a strength training program, that protein is stored as muscle.
Make sure you eat at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight each day. For a 145-pound woman, that amounts to at least 145 grams of protein a day.
Okay, so you can’t indulge yourself, but adding a decent amount of certain fats to your diet has many benefits. On the one hand, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are associated with cardiovascular health, but more importantly, new research indicates that women who train hard use fat differently than men. It’s no secret that women store fat more easily than men, but according to a related research review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, women also burn fat more easily than men. While our Muscle & Fitness brothers still need to burn off their glycogen stores (the stored form of carbohydrates that muscles use as fuel) before triggering fat burning, it appears that the female body burns fat first. to save glycogen. . This has important implications for what you, as a woman participating in a strength training program, should eat.
While sports nutritionists promote high carbohydrate intake for athletes, this is really ideal only for endurance athletes, such as marathon runners. To gain strength, however, the opposite is true. Strength athletes should, as the review says, “put less emphasis on very high carbohydrate intake and more on quality protein and fat intake”, with most of their calories coming from protein and lean fat sources. in good health. In addition, the heavier you exercise, the more stress you put on your joints and healthy fats are essential for joint health.
Try to get 20% to 30% of your daily calories from healthy fat sources, such as salmon, nuts (especially nuts), seeds and avocados. Keep saturated fat (found in dairy products and meat) at 10% or less of your daily caloric intake.
Yes, we just told you to focus on proteins and fats in your diet, but that doesn’t mean you should cut out all carbs. Even if your body preferably burns fat during workouts, it does not mean that it will not burn a little glycogen and you will need to ingest carbohydrates to replace it. In fact, carbohydrates are an important part of a strength athlete’s diet. Researchers at Loughborough University in England found that when athletes ate slow-burning carbohydrates for breakfast and lunch and then exercised, they burned more fat during the day and during the day. exercise and keep insulin levels lower than that. eat fast-burning carbohydrates. There are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, the carbohydrates you eat must be of the slow digesting type: whole grains (brown rice, oats, brown bread), vegetables, sweet potatoes and fruits. .
Eat 1 to 1.5 grams of slow-digesting carbohydrates per pound of body weight per day.
Fill with fuel before exercising
Study after study showed that consuming a combination of proteins and carbohydrates before (and after; see slide 5) of an exercise results in increased muscle mass and strength. A study at the University of Victoria (Australia) showed that individuals who consumed a mixture of proteins and carbohydrates immediately before and after training had a greater increase in muscle mass and strength and even decreased more body fat than individuals who took the same supplement. more than five hours before and after training.
Obviously, the two important factors in pre-workout nutrition are time and, of course, what’s on your plate. Or do this, shake. Right before your workout, you want fast protein (to immediately supply your muscles with amino acids to work with) and slower carbohydrates (to fuel your workout for a long period of time). Whey is always a great protein option, but for carbohydrates, try orange juice one day and, say, a whole wheat English muffin the next day. Remember, if you choose whole foods, you will need to cut them well in advance to allow digestion before going to the gym.
Remember Australians who took protein and carbohydrate supplements before and after training and experienced stellar gains in lean mass and strength? Note the “after” in the previous sentence. Much of post-workout nutrition is just pre-workout nutrition redux, with one difference: the general rule here is the speed of carbohydrate digestion.
Keeping carbohydrates post-workout serves to increase your insulin levels, a hormone that has huge effects on muscle mass because it introduces proteins into muscle cells (yes, that’s why you should also consume protein. At the moment). Any fast carbohydrate disappears, but watch the fat content. Fat slows digestion and absorption of carbohydrates; therefore, choose simple low-fat carbs, such as angel cake, jam, white bread – things that conventional nutritionists would recommend you avoid.