How to Eat When Weight Training
Protein Is the Key
When it comes to weight training and eating, protein should be at the top of your grocery list. Protein provides the essential amino acids your muscles need to repair and rebuild after weight training. Protein is also important for providing energy and helping you stay fuller longer. The best sources of protein for weight training are lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs. You should aim for about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, which is roughly 120 grams of protein per day for most people.
Carbs Are Essential Too
Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy during weight training. Complex carbohydrates like oats, quinoa, and sweet potatoes are digested slowly, providing a sustained source of energy. These carbs also help to replenish glycogen stores, which are depleted during intense workouts. Aim for about 1-2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight, which is roughly 150-300 grams of carbs per day.
Fats are an important fuel source during weight training and should not be overlooked. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil are a great addition to any weight training diet. Healthy fats help to provide energy, keep your hormones balanced, and protect your muscles. Aim for about 0.4 grams of fat per pound of bodyweight, which is roughly 60 grams of fat per day.
Timing Is Everything
It is important to time your meals and snacks appropriately when weight training. Eating a balanced meal containing protein, carbohydrates, and fats shortly before and after a workout will help to maximize your gains. Eating a snack with protein and carbs an hour before your workout will provide energy and help to prevent hunger during your workout. Eating a meal with protein, carbs, and fats shortly after your workout will replenish glycogen stores and help to repair and rebuild your muscles.
Staying hydrated is essential to any weight training program. Water helps to keep your body temperature regulated, transports nutrients to your muscles, and helps to flush out toxins. Aim to drink at least 2 liters of water per day, and more if you are active. You can also add electrolytes to your water for added hydration.