When starting a new routine or welcoming fitness and exercise into your life we all ask those questions of what do I eat. What do I eat pre work out? What do I eat post or after work? How much? How little etc… So what is the answer to all? If you do not know what your exercise nutrition is or where to start in this article I will break down those questions and more! First things first you need to know what body type you are so you can adequately eat for your size, body goal, timing.
Body type: In fitness there are 3 different main body types. Ectomorph, Mesomorph, Endomorph.
Ectomorphs are thin individuals characterized by smaller bone structures and thinner limbs. Think of a typical endurance athlete. This profile is linked to a fast metabolic rate and a high carbohydrate tolerance. If this is your body type then you can generally do better when it comes to having carbohydrates in the diet, along with a moderate protein and lower fat intake. A macronutrient split of 55% whole carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 20% fat. This of course is just a general estimate. The numbers can all change depending of your goal of course.
Mesomorphs have a medium sized bone structure and athletic body, and if they’re active, they usually have a considerable amount of lean mass. Mesomorphs tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominant. This profile leads to a predisposition for muscle gain and the maintenance of a lower body fat. But again this is just a general estimate for this. If the person is or has been living a life with little to no movement then you will have to adjust your caloric intake if your goal is to lose weight.
Mesomorphs typically do best on a mixed diet, consisting of balanced whole carbohydrates, proteins, fats and minimal processed foods if any at all. A macronutrient split of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat may work for an individual who is active at least 3 days a week. This is just a general estimate. Again the numbers will change based on the persons exercise routine.
And last but not least is Endomorphs. Endomorphs have a larger bone structure with higher amounts of total body mass and fat mass. Football lineman and power lifters are frequently endomorphs. They tend to be naturally less active. Endomorphs typically do best on a higher fat and protein intake with carbohydrate intake being controlled and properly timed (e.g., after exercise). So a recommendation I would suggest is: more fat and protein, less carbohydrate. A macronutrient split suggested for this body type might be around 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat. Again this is just an estimate and all depends on the goal of the person. So what body type are you? You can be a mix of both as well or even all three depending on your genetics, lifestyle and routines. Now looking at your body type and having your goal, what do you eat?
Generally pre workout you want pre workout you want to eat 1 hour or 30 minutes before your workout. If you are having a morning workout blend up a smoothie or have some fruit for your pre workout meal. You may not even be hungry before workout at and that’s okay. Just listen to your body and you will find out the needs you need by listening to your hunger cues. Eating whole foods such as fruit before working out will help keep your energy levels up and help push you through your workout. The carbohydrates in the fruit preserve the energy you need. You want to eat easily digestible foods before you workout. Think:
Greek yogurt and fruit.
Nutrition bar with protein and wholesome ingredients.
A piece of fruit such as banana, orange or apple
This is the meal I want you to have after an intense workout with me, or if you were schedule to have a strength day on your own. This meal should be the biggest meal of the day, and only eat this type of meal on intense days of exercise. Eat whole foods with minimal processing. Save the high processed/sugar starches post workout or rarely. Eat veggies with all meals especially post workout. Veggies will help support fat loss, and help support you to feel fuller longer and keep you to the 80% full method. After your workout your window to eat is within 2hrs of exercising. If you did not eat before your workout you can have a post work shake while you are exercising, or directly after. Foods to eat directly after can be:
Protein bar (Eat directly after)
Animal- or plant-based Protein shake
Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)
And of course fruit
Remember you will being using energy from your energy balance that you have already stored, so you need to be prepared to restore post workout. Keep moving towards your Goal!