Whereas what you actually do in the gym during the span of your training session determines greatly how well you are progressing towards building your body, what you do 90 minutes before and after the work out determines how fast you achieve that goal. It’s called “the four hour window”, one and a half hour before and after the one hour of work out. Miss it and you will toil in the gym for more than twice the time you would have achieved your goal.
This window is the opportunity to enhance your body’s ability to build muscle. This is because it is the time your body will be in most need for muscle building foods and also most receptive to the foods taken.
This is the most important meal of your entire day, save for the post workout meal. Its entire purpose is to ready the body for the rigors of weight training. During the actual workout, your body depletes all “liquid” sources of stored energy such as blood sugar. As the workout intensifies, the body initiates Glycolysis a process that oxidizes fats, stored in an insoluble form to soluble sugars that are quickly dissolved in blood for transit to the muscles for respiration to generate energy.
Towards this end, the pre workout meal should consist of easy to digest and absorb energy giving foods such as carbohydrates. This provides a ready source of energy for your body during the session rather than opting for Glycolysis which not only takes time to occur but also requires energy. This would be counter productive for one working out in the gym as they need all the energy that they can spare.
If you are eating to gain mass, your average meal suffices for a pre work out meal. However, it should be taken ninety to sixty minutes before the weight training session begins to provide enough time for the body to digest and avail the nutrients to the cells of the muscular tissue for energy synthesis.
Stick to simple carbohydrates preferably in juice form as liquid food is easily digested with the least amount of energy expended than solid food which has to first be broken down to particles.
Post workout nutrition
The essence behind intense weight training to gain mass is the simple fact that muscle tissue gets torn and thus during rebuilding which is inevitable, stronger muscle tissue will be synthesized to withstand the workout routines as the body tries to adapt to the new environment. In the process additional muscle tissue is synthesized to supplement the existing muscle. This is visible outwardly as increased muscle mass and a well built body.
Thus the post work out meal should provide nutrients that are necessary for tissue repair and growth. This is mainly carbohydrates to replenish energy sources such as glycogen and proteins to provide amino acids necessary for the rebirth of new and hopefully stronger tissue. The sooner the body get’s these rebuilding materials the faster it will repair and build new, stronger and bulkier muscle.
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