Do you know exactly what goes on in your body when you work out?
When you lift weights, do cardio or any other type of exercise, you're actually tearing your muscles down. That sounds counterproductive, but it's not. As you tear those muscles down, they're able to rebuild, for greater strength. This is how you can get the more muscular and toned physique you're after.
To make your workouts more productive, you need to know what to do before you get started and after the workout as well. Many people don't realize this, but what you do pre and post workout have a massive impact on how beneficial the physical activity actually is.
A Better Pre-Workout Strategy
Let’s begin looking at what you need to do before you even hit the track, gym or weights. If you fill your body with the right foods and nutrients, it'll be better prepared to get the most out of that workout. Your food choices should include complex carbohydrates that are slow burning. This way, they'll give you plenty of energy throughout the workout. Some choices include whole grain breads, rice, pasta, cereal, fruits and vegetables. Make sure to avoid simple sugar products like candy bars and protein bars that have ingredient lists just like a candy bar. They won't last and will cause you to crash. If you're craving something sweet, try organic almond or peanut butter on some whole grain bread to give you protein, carbohydrates and the taste you may be craving.
There are also different supplements you can try to boost your workout. Generally, they'll include ingredients like B vitamins and amino acids to help you maintain a high energy level and make it easier for you to work out more intensely without getting so tired. Read labels on these products carefully, as many contain stimulants like caffeine which may not only give you the jitters later on but also interfere with certain medical conditions and medications (either prescription or over-the-counter).
An Effective Post-Workout Routine
Once you've completed your workout, there's still much to do. In the hour or two after you've finished training, your muscles will be rebuilding themselves and for that, they need nutrients. The more nutrients you give them, the more they can build themselves up, creating lean muscle. Lean muscle tissue also burns more calories at rest, keeping your metabolism working all day. That means you need to choose the right foods to help muscles recover, like chicken, fish, eggs, soy protein, oatmeal, brown rice, vegetables and fruit. In the hour after your workout, you'll find it's absolutely the best time to eat a hearty meal. Make sure you include plenty of protein in that meal for the best results, like those previously. You can also choose protein powders for the same effect and make a heartier shake or smoothie to replenish the body. Either way, starving yourself post workout won't get you closer to your goals any sooner.
If you're trying to build a leaner, more muscular physique and feel you're stuck, follow these tips to get more out of your training. Remember that what you choose to fuel your body is just as important as the equipment you choose to train with.
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