One of the most underrated elements of training is the habit of properly fueling your body for Your workouts. Put simply, you just can’t see optimal results from a workout if your body isn’t properly fueled.
To get the most out of the hard work you put in every day at the gym, there are a few critical things to remember.
First of all, by eating five or more meals a day, you should get the protein and carbohydrate intake you need through actual food. A good diet should include fish oil, high protein, healthy complex carbohydrates, and plenty of water.
It might seem basic, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t pay enough attention to their diet and end up overloading on one part of the equation while skimping on the other part…
…or leaving it out entirely.
Commit to Training, Fuel Your Workouts
There are a lot of gimmicks out there, but the most important thing to remember is to fuel yourself with your diet and your daily intake of water.
The Key to Hydration
Water is probably one of the most commonly undervalued essentials of any effective strength training program. If you have a high output training session, you need a large amount of water. You have to be adequately hydrated to transport oxygen as efficiently as possible.
The Right Carbohydrates
The other part of water consumption is your carbohydrate intake. If you want to be properly hydrated…
…you need to take in the proper amount of complex carbohydrates.
Water follows glucose, so if you don’t have enough glucose in your body, water cannot enter your cells. Of course, without water in your cells, oxygen will not be transported efficiently.
A very common misconception is that the more muscle you want to put on, the more protein you need. Many people end up eating too much protein and not enough carbs to fuel their body.
Because some athletes don’t follow their diet correctly, this is where we can gain an advantage in restoration that will help boost training and performance on competition day. Non-essential amino acids are produced by our body and are not as much of a priority to have in our diet.
The body does not perceive a difference between mental and physical stress; therefore, training and eating optimally is imperative, so the production of non-essential amino acids proceeds efficiently for recovery.
If you want muscle, you have to fuel your workout. If an athlete hydrates properly, you can move more weight at a higher volume. Over time, that training volume will add up, and you’ll put on more muscle the right way.
(NOTE: Want to get big results from your training efforts? Fuel your body properly! Get your copy of our Advance Athlete Nutrition Template here.)
That said, you do need protein, but it’s all about ratios. Protein sometimes becomes excess, when it should be used to rebuild tissue after fueling the body with carbs. You can get energy from fats, carbs, and proteins, but the bottom line is that your body gets energy from carbs most efficiently because muscles contract at a faster rate from carbs than from proteins.
The best advice is to think of proteins as amino acids and to look at those amino acids instead of grams of proteins.
For best results, athletes looking to move higher volumes of weight need to load up on complex carbs to fuel their workout. Going by the glycemic index, load the carbs beforehand and then cut down on them, or cut them out entirely when you aren’t working out.
The last meal of the day should usually be protein only for your body to take in fat and process energy rather than taking in excess calories.
The bottom line…
Fuel your workouts properly!
Don’t skimp on carbs, and use proteins appropriately.
It’s often the case that protein becomes excess, but it should be used to rebuild tissue and use carbs for fuel.