Do my workouts merit a pre- and post-WO meal?


Jessica

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I am not overweight and in pretty good shape, although I wouldn't call myself a hard core athlete (I don't do races or CrossFit or anything like that). I workout 3-4 times per week and it usually consists of the strength, core-focused and boot camp style classes at my gym, and some lower intensity cardio when I'm in recovery. It's not super intense, but I definitely break a really good sweat and I'm usually sore for a couple days after most of the group fitness classes.

I usually workout after work, which means I'm eating dinner about an hour after my workout ends. I haven't been eating pre- or post-WO meals. Should I be eating something a the gym right after my WO and then dinner an hour later? Do my workouts really merit a pre-WO meal?

Also, if I WO on my lunch break, I'm eating lunch within 20 minutes after I'm done. What about those days?

Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

(Oh - and 1 week down on my August Whole30 - woo hoo!)

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Your workouts sound hard enough that you would benefit from pre- and post-workout meals. They can be small. A boiled egg as a pre-workout meal. A few bites of chicken breast as a post-workout meal. On the days you can eat within 20 minutes of completing a workout, you could let your meal count as your post-workout meal. I often do that myself. On days when it will be an hour before you eat, you should have a post-workout meal. The feeding window for your muscles is especially open for a short-time after you workout. Twenty minutes is probably within the window, but not 60. You may find that your soreness after workouts is less severe after you begin eating post-workout meals regularly.

I ignored the Whole9 advice to eat pre- and post-workout meals for more than a year. When I got with the program, I noticed an improvement in my recovery. Not a huge difference, but noticeable.

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follow up question actually. I think I remember reading in ISWF that you're supposed to limit fat at your post-WO meal... does that mean I need to limit fat in my lunch on those days, or can I just eat the normal amount that I would otherwise?

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You want to limit fat after your workout only because it generally slows down digestion. The window that Tom was referring to is a time frame where your body quickly metabolizes protein and shuttles it to your muscle tissues for repair. If you consume fat with your protein, it will make the window "moot". You can have a little fat before your workout with some protein to get your body used to using fat as fuel.

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