Want to have your body reflect the hard work you put in at the gym, get stronger, & feel more confident in your skin?? All by eating MORE food + doing LESS cardio?
Well… let’s chat about how to maximize your workouts in the gym. So you get the results and physique you desire.
The crazy reality is that we need carbs to optimize our performance as a recreational or competitive athlete. Of course HOW much you need is individualized based on your specific goals. *I suggest working with a Registered Dietitian Nutrition Coach to customize your intake.*
- You need more carbs when doing strength training, intense workouts, high heart rate, intervals, HIIT, or anaerobic training (think: breathing hard).
- You need more carbs if you want to build muscle (some people call this “toning” or improving your lean muscle: body fat ratio).
- Carbs are your primary energy source for these workouts listed above.
- Carbs are more essential for females with menstrual cycles and or those with thyroid issues.
- Some research shows that women need a minimum of 160-180g Carbs/day to optimize their hormones.
- Consuming adequate carbs can help to manage carb cravings later in the day, positive mood, and can promote more restful sleep.
⚠️ You need less carbs (NOTE: that doesn’t read no carbs) surrounding less intense workouts like walking the dog, a mild jog around the park, or something like Yoga/Pilates. Some women also might benefit from lower carbs related to underlying health conditions. *Again, always consult with a Registered Dietitian.*
⚠️ To lose fat, you simply need to create a calorie deficit (via protein, carbs, and.or fat). So you can still eat carbs and lose fat.
- Carbs should be prioritized around your workouts (~1-3 hours Pre/Post).
- I call this “Bookending.”
- Consume some starchy carbs both PRE & POST workout, and pair this with a protein.
- How much you consume is more specific to each person but a general guide is anywhere from about 30g-70+g Carbs Pre & Post.
- If you have never timed your carbs around your workouts be prepared for some amazing workouts. You will likely lift more weight or run more miles with the same effort. You honestly should feel like a million bucks if you time your carbs appropriately and consume adequate amounts throughout the day.
Favorite go-to carbs:
- Oats (I use instant), bagels, rice, rice cakes, potatoes, tortillas, quinoa, lentils, pastas, root veggies, squash, and fruits.
- Use caution with high amounts of fruit or high fiber veggies prior to a workout because they are harder to digest and can cause GI issues and gas.
Pair a CARB + PROTEIN for optimal energy.
- Oatmeal + Chicken Sausage
- Pasta + Leftover Ground Turkey
- Bagel + Egg Sandwich
- Oats + Protein Smoothie
- Protein Waffle
At CWA, we encourage clients to fuel their bodies with as much energy as possible to support their goals. We encourage and inspire our clients to focus on what YOUR body CAN do vs focusing on your appearance (although that’s awesome, and usually improves as a by-product of fueling the body adequately).