What’s the best supplement to take During my workout? What about after? Should I take both?
Well, hate to break it to you but there is no one size fits all when it comes to proper nutrition. Peri-workout (during and after workouts) nutrition can vary based on goals, activity, body type, and individual tolerance for specific feedings.
Regardless of your personal goal, a common goal of every workout is to prevent blood sugar from dropping. Blood sugar levels can dictate how well you feel during the session. Therefore, if your blood sugar is low, you’ll feel low in energy. If it stays constant, you’ll feel like you have adequate energy. Obviously we want to keep those levels constant to perform our best. There are two ways to do this: eating a high carbohydrate diet OR eating carbohydrates when you need them most.
Eating a high carbohydrate diet will ensure that your body is always topped off with fuel for your workout. The problem is, the average American cannot consume such a substantial amount of carbohydrates and not gain any weight. (Unless you run a marathon everyday, but that’s another story). With this strategy you won’t have to worry about what you consume before, during and after exercise because your body will already have enough energy stored…
OR you can structure your carbohydrates strategically around your time of exercise. Rather than using stored glycogen, you can use new “fresh” carbohydrates. Think about this as if your car needed an oil change, certainly, your vehicle could still run with the old oil but think about how much better it will drive with new and fresh oil. If you use the right carbohydrate sources(fast digesting), your body will be able to use the new fuel almost immediately.
However, it is important to remember there is no one size fits all. My advice is to experiment with different strategies as well as different carbohydrate and protein sources. You may find that you have an intolerance or that something just doesn’t quite fit your lifestyle. Try several options and then decide which benefits you the most. Here is a table that might help you decide which strategy to start off with:
A P+C drink (protein+carbohydrate drink) should contain a mixture of quickly digested, well-tolerated protein and carbohydrate. For fat loss and/or females in a ratio of 2:1 carbs:protein
For muscle gain/sport support and/or males in a ration of 3:1 carbs:protein
Some frequently used carbohydrate sources are: Vitargo, Gatorade, candy such as gummy bears, table sugar, rice cakes, high concentrated fruit juice.
Some frequently used protein sources are: whey protein powder, lactose/dairy free protein powder, chocolate milk, egg whites, chicken breast.
***DO NOT consume any fats during or immediately after exercise. This will slow down the digestion of your carbohydrate and protein sources and therefore defeat the purpose of strategic nutrient timing.