Supplementing Correctly During Your Workout
Often, as you’re focused on what you need to do before a workout and how to replenish your body afterward, you’re overlooking a key component of your fitness routine: supplementing correctly during workouts. It’s easy to forget that your body needs essential nutrients, usually because you’re concentrating on weight reps, striving for that second wind or sprinting toward the finish line. However, it’s a mistake to neglect your body’s needs while exercising, as depleted essentials can result in a loss of energy, light-headedness or even worse. Incorporate a few supplements into your fitness session with a few tips from the pros.
Look for supplements that are low in fat.
Avoid consuming high levels of fat during a workout for the same reason you do so before exercising; foods high in fat take a long time to clear from the stomach and consume a lot of your body’s resources while digesting. You need that energy throughout your fitness routine to get the muscle benefits of weight training and gain the heart-healthy advantages of cardio. Plus, foods and supplements that are higher in fat leave you feeling tired and groggy – hardly the sensation you want when working out.
Make sure you choose the right balance when supplementing during a workout.
You need both protein and carbohydrates while exercising. You’re expending amino acids during a strength or cardio session, which reduces your protein stores. Meanwhile, carbs help reduce cortisol levels which, when too high, can break down muscle. You must replenish both when you’re working out to build muscle and increase performance.
• Proteins: Go with whey. Ease of digestion is essential when supplementing correctly during workouts, so opt for whey in a shake or bar form. It absorbs into the body quickly, which means protein is delivered to your muscles for fast repair and recovery.
• Carbs: Mix it up. Unlike protein, you need a combination of fast and slow absorbing carbohydrates. Check labels for quick-action dextrose and maltodextrin for sustained absorption.
Find a taste you can tolerate.
No supplement will help you boost energy and performance if you don’t consume it, so make sure you choose wisely. Some products can have a bitter taste or strong after-taste, both of which could distract you when you’re trying to focus on finishing your workout.
Never underestimate the power of convenience.
Obviously, you’re not sitting down for a meal, but not all supplements are alike from a convenience standpoint. Shakes and gels can be popped quickly, so you won’t miss a single rep. Chews and bars give your jaws more of a workout, thereby slowing you down.
Opt for bars or sports drinks over whole foods.
It’s usually the case that whole foods are preferred over refined products, but that’s not so when you’re looking for sustenance during a workout. You need certain fast-absorbing nutrients and supplements that are specifically engineered to be delivered where they’re needed. Plus, whole foods often run contrary to the convenience factor mentioned above.
Don’t make the mistake of overlooking the mid-workout stage of your fitness routine as an opportunity that holds a lot of potential for improved performance and endurance. Supplementing correctly during workouts can give you the energy boost you need, as well as replenish the essential hydration and nutrients that your body is expending.