What does “para-workout nutrition” mean?
Para-workout nutrition describes the food intake before (pre), during (peri), and after (post) training. I will use the English terms in this article, as these have now become established with us.
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Pre-workout (before training):
Studies have shown that pre-workout nutrition is essential, if not more important, than post-workout nutrition. That makes sense, of course, because you wouldn’t be able to drive off your car without petrol either. It’s the same with training.
It would help if you also consumed something before exercise to achieve a better, more extended, and more efficient performance. This not only makes your training more efficient, but your body can recover faster, and it can also promote the effectiveness of your post-workout shake.
Peri-Workout (during training):
Originally, peri-workout nutrition was a pre- or post-workout drink. But now it is often discussed taking BCAA’s (branched-chain-amino-acids, i.e., essential branched-chain amino acids) and creatine during training. The only question is whether that makes sense ?!
I do not take any supplements (food supplements) during training, as I keep my stay in the fitness center as short as possible. I train pretty quickly and jump from exercise to exercise without long breaks or small talk.
It would be too awkward for me to take any pills or the like with me, my water is enough for me (of which you should drink at least 4 liters a day).
Besides, not everyone can, depending on the training intensity, to take something similar, because the stomach does not play along with some.
In the past, I sometimes even had problems with pre-workout nutrition during training, for example, when I was doing HIT. HIT stands for high-intensity training where you do a lot of work in little time, i.e., you do many exercises with very short breaks in less than 45 minutes.
If you are not used to this, not only the body is extremely challenged and stressed, but also the stomach. I had to stop training a few times not to fill up the full fitness center (almost vomited XZ).
In my opinion, it only makes sense to take peri-workout nutrition for more extended training units that last longer than 45 minutes (mostly endurance athletes and bodybuilders).
Depending on how long before training you have consumed the pre-workout nutrition, it will still be digested and thus provide your body with energy.
For anyone who does longer training sessions and wants to build muscle or strength, BCAA’s or beta-7 supplements can, of course, be beneficial. There are now several energy drinks that give you an extra energy boost during training.
Post-workout (after training):
Post-workout nutrition is probably the most widespread variant when it comes to strength training. The supplement industry has put hundreds of different food compositions on the market for this, but which is the best?
Good question. I think it should be kept as simple as possible. A protein/carbohydrate mix is sufficient. There are ready-made products for this, or you can mix it up yourself. When it comes to carbohydrates, you should make sure to consume fast-digesting carbohydrates such as maltodextrin.
Quickly digestible proteins and carbohydrates promote your physical recovery and support muscle building.
I take around 50 grams of maltodextrin and 25 grams of protein half an hour before and immediately after training.
With this article, I do not want to glorify any dietary supplement (supplements) in any way. Of course, you can also consume everything in the form of stable and healthy food, but it is sometimes easier to dissolve the powder in water/milk and drink it.
Besides, the powdered forms of proteins and carbohydrates are available, i.e., they can be absorbed more quickly by our body and act more rapidly to “repair” our bodies. Depending on the type of training, it is also better and more pleasant for our stomach or state of mind 🙂