By Scott FenwickB.S. /Hons
The food that you consume before, during and after workouts will greatly enhance your goals whether it is for strength, weight loss or general fitness.PRE WORKOUT
Eating nothing before cardio has always been the ideal. Cardio uses bodyfat as fuel and the amount of carbohydrates in the bloodstream influences your body's ability to maximize fat burning. If there are a lot of carbs in your bloodstream from a recent meal, then fat-burning decreases. If there's but a scant amount of carbs in your blood, fat-burning skyrockets. That's what makes cardio in the morning on an empty stomach so effective. No carbs in the blood especially after an overnight fast elevates your ability to melt away bodyfat.STUDIES & RESEARCH
New research shows that fat burning can be enhanced even further if you take amino acids before your cardio workout. We recommend going with three to six grams (g) of an amino acid product that contains alanine, arginine, cysteine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine. Another option is to go with 10-20 g of pure whey protein isolate or hydrolysate. Just be sure the product contains no carbs or fat.DURING - DRINK WATER
Marathon runners often swig energy drinks such as Gatorade, which might make you think you should, too. Wrong! The calories from these drinks are quickly absorbed and decrease your body's ability to burn bodyfat. Endurance athletes use these drinks to provide energy to keep the body from working so hard. Water is the best thing for a bodybuilder to consume while doing cardio. It will help keep you hydrated, enhancing recovery and the flushing of harmful toxins.AFTER - CONSUME PLENTY OR PROTEIN
Even cardio work can create a catabolic state, and protein can help put an end to that. Specifically, whey protein and egg whites top the list as premier post cardio protein sources. They hit the bloodstream faster than any other amino acid source, helping to prevent muscle loss. You need some carbohydrates after cardio, but it's best to wait 90 minutes before ingesting them. That's because carbs cause a rise in insulin, which may override the fat-burning hormones released from cardio. At the 90-minute mark, you may eat carbs. Specifically, go for slow-burning ones such as oatmeal, rye bread, yams or yogurt.
My recommendation would be to take in 40-80 g of carbs and eat these with a whole-food protein source such as meat, steak or eggs. These carbs cause a more moderate release of insulin. Keeping insulin levels in check after cardio is important in burning as much fat as possible.
MAKE IT HAPPEN!