Pre- and Post-workout foods

What you do to fuel a workout is just as important as what you do in your workout.  Here is some advice on what to eat before and after your workouts.

Of course we want to build muscle and lose fat.  But there are some contradictions in our understanding of what to feed our muscles without feeding our fat.  Our muscles are made of protein, but run on fat and carbohydrates.  So before and after a workout we need to feed our muscles a combination of protein, fat, and carbs.  We also need to feed our muscles some minerals.

Muscles need both fuel and rebuilding materials both before and after a workout.  For that reason, I recommend a breakfast of oatmeal with a tablespoon of olive oil in it.  There is good reason for the olive oil.  It is both building material and fuel for muscle cells.  All of our cells, including muscle cells, are enclosed in a membrane made of fat.  And fat is the best fuel there is.  And olive oil is one of the best, most healthy fats.

Also, add plenty of cinnamon for minerals.  Add some raisins and 1% milk and cook in the microwave.  When done, add some slivered almonds and top with the cottage cheese.  Go for a walk.  Optimally, an hour after breakfast, do your workout.  Drink plenty of water during your workout.

After your workout, walk and stretch some more.  Walking and stretching is very important to get the muscles into recovery mode.  After a workout, muscles are hungry for food.  And, ironically, we might not feed them enough carbs.  Be sure to get some carbs to your muscles to fuel their recovery efforts.  

Here is what i drink right after a workout.  I have a small glass of 1% milk.  I add a heaping tablespoon of lowfat ricotta cheese into it.  I use a fork to mash it up and mix it up into the milk.  Then I take a teaspoon and dip it into a jar of molasses, and mix that into the milk and ricotta cheese mixture.  This gives the proper mixture of fast-absorbing carbs from the molasses and the protein for rebuilding muscle stress from the milk and ricotta cheese.  The molasses has some sugar left in it from the refining process, but it is very rich in minerals such as potassium that are vital for muscle recovery.  For both the quick fix of carbs and the potassium supplementation, molasses is a good choice for your post workout drink.

About an hour after having the post workout drink, have a regular meal.  Do not forget to walk to stretch out after your workout.  And by all means vary your workouts every time you do them.  Variety is very important to keeping your body and muscles surprised as to its workout.  See our sandbag training tips here.

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