Food habits to aid your strength training routine

Strength training is not only for bodybuilders. The massive benefits of strength training range from normalizing hormones, increasing metabolism and insulin sensitivity, and reducing inflammation and anxiety. Thankfully strength training is gaining traction among the public, especially for women! If you are taking control of your health and starting a strength training routine, that is fabulous! Here are some food tips to assist in your endeavour to get healthy through strength training.

General tips

Always drink heaps of water and eat an abundance of vegetables. Don’t overestimate the amount of calories burned, and then overeat post-workout. A run does not mean its Twinkie time! If your goal is to loss weight, diet will still be the single greatest thing taking the pounds off. These are the fundamentals of any healthy lifestyle. Now for the unique nutritional needs of the body when strength training.

Time your snacking

Eat a snack before your workout to give yourself the extra fuel needed to push harder. According to Women’s Health, a high-carb snack of 100-200 calories, like a piece of fruit, is ideal. If your goal is weight loss, and your running first thing in the morning, it is okay to hold off on breakfast until after your workout. But if your goal is performance related, grab an apple.

Have a snack or meal within 30 minutes post workout. Your muscles need to recover, and what you eat will have a major effect on your muscles ability to do so quickly. If you can time your workout to end right before a meal, great. If not, aim for a 100-200 calorie snack that has more protein than carbs (like any of Kay’s Naturals snacks).

Protein Power

We strength train to increase our muscles power and protein has the power to repair them. So, eat lots of it. Recommended amount of protein consumption will change with every food scientist, bodybuilder, and nutritionists you talk too. Too much protein can have a negative effect on the body, but that doesn't mean protein is required for the whole body to function well. Protein isn’t just needed for tissue repair! The human body is unique and incredibly complex, and clinical studies have suggested slightly different amounts. According to today’s research, most agree that one gram per pound is helpful for those in a strength training program. “Protein has been typecast as something that will make you big and strong, but muscle growth is not controlled by the level of protein one takes; rather it is the growth demand caused by intense training or stress that will ultimately determine how much protein one should take in.” (Bodybuilding.com) So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be eating 150 grams of protein daily! To consume a 1:1 protein to pound ratio, without going off the charts on calorie consumption, will require a bit of food sense and  mindfulness. This is one reason so many love Kay’s Naturals. Our snacks allow strength trainers to indulge in a snack or sweet without consuming loads of calories, carbs or sugar, while helping them consume enough protein. All of our snacks, whether its a cookie, chip, or pretzel, is packed with 12 grams of protein per serving!

Strengthening Fats

Joint recovery is necessary for strength training. According to Muscle and Fitness, “healthy fats are also important as they not only offer multiple health benefits but they help you stay lean and help your joints recover.” Sources of healthy monounsaturated fat include mixed nuts, uncooked olive oil, avocados, and peanut butter. Fish such as white tuna and salmon, will give you essential omega-3 fats. Flaxseed and walnuts are abundant in Omega-3’s, as well. Surprisingly, about 30% of your total daily calories should come from fat. So, enjoy your healthy fats to keep your body lean and joints strong.

Now, who is ready stock up on healthy carbs, proteins and fats, and then head to the gym!?

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