PWO Meal Mandatory?


runningknitwitmom

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I recently finished my first Whole30, but have decided to continue on to make it at least a Whole45. I am currently on Day 33. My question is whether or not I HAVE to eat a PWO meal? I workout twice a day. Once in the morning, I get up and eat a couple of hard boiled eggs and half an avocado. Then I eat a PWO after to get my morning started. My second workout is usually around 8 pm, and finishing it up at around 9 or 10. I am never hungry immediately following a workout. Typically I am a bit nauseated for the first 30 minutes after. I am never sure if I am supposed to force myself to eat or if it's better to listen to my body and wait it out until I am hungry. In the evenings, this would mean eating right before going to bed, which I hate to do also. I am just unsure of how to proceed. For example I ran 3 miles tonight and finished about an hour ago. I am still not hungry but need to go to bed so I can get up for my workout in the morning. What should I be doing? Thanks in advance for any advice!!

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I skipped post-workout meals for a very long time because I didn't understand how important they were. Finally, I learned enough for it to make sense and I started eating lean protein after weight lifting or hill sprinting sessions. What I found was that I recovered faster and more fully. On the occasions when I delayed eating, I experienced more soreness the next day. So the ultimate question is not do you have to, but do you want to recover faster and more fully.

I think intensity is the key to whether or not you need to eat a post-workout meal. I would probably not bother with a special meal after running three miles. However, if you went to the track and ran 12 quarter mile sprints to achieve 3 miles, you would need to feed your muscles some lean protein pretty quick to support good recovery.

The issue of eating before bed is not the only issue you are raising. Exercising just before bed time is bad for your circadian rhythms and sleep quality. Day time exercise is your best choice and your body needs some downtime before sleep. From a health perspective, you would be better off exercising once per day in the morning and skipping night-time training.

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Thanks! I ended up not eating last night and regretted it. For me a 3 mile run is still a pretty big workout. I am getting more in shape and I can feel that this was easier than when I first started running. But it's still a major burn for me. When I workout in the evening I typically try for 7 so that I am done by 8. I prefer to work out in the evenings, as it is when I feel my strongest. However I am learning to workout in the mornings. I just don't have the time to do it all in the morning. Maybe I can move my evening workout to an afternoon one, but I don't always have the time. It's tricky to get it all in!

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You really shouldn't feel nauseated after a workout - since it seems to be running that makes you sick, are you following a training plan, or just pushing yourself as hard as you can? I did the couch to 5k program a few years back, and went from not being able to run a quarter mile to running 3.2 miles in 10 weeks. Be nice to your body!

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I get the working out 2x per day. I teach, and am flexible during the summer, and would do a brick (double up on events) to prepare for a triathlon. However, when I went back to work, I had to run before I went to work at 5a.m. and then get a 2 hour bike in after work (before sunset, usually done by 5p.m.) On even better days I would get all three events in, or one cardio activity and weights with at least a couple of hours in between, or a good recovery meal and some rest. It's all in the food and recovery. As for the original post, I hate working out at night, and will only resort to doing a spin class that ends at 8 if I have no other choice.

I am finding my post WO meal is 2 hard boiled eggs and some yams and green veggies if I take them with me, or can run home. The yams are what was suggested on someone else's question about workout pre and post meals. I have been doing HB eggs,simply because they are too easy. But I will need variety eventually.

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I was only working out once a day, in the evenings, because it fit my schedule best. It was when I had the most energy. I just started a 90 day challenge that I do in the morning. It's a 30 minute routine, so I can get it done before the kids get up. Then on 3 nights a week I try to get a run in. I am still *new* to running and the most I usually do at a time is about 4 miles, but I am trying to increase my mileage. I don't want to forgo my running in order to do these other workouts in the morning. But I can't do them back to back because then I don't have enough energy to get a good run in. Sometimes I will do a shorter run right after my 30 minute workout, but I like to do my longer running around 7 pm. If I can get it done in the afternoon, I do it then. But that's not usually an option for me.

As for the food, it looks like I am just going to need to always have some sort of lean protein ready to go for right after a workout. I don't think I need much after my workouts, but just something to recover is seeming to be necessary.

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I was only working out once a day, in the evenings, because it fit my schedule best. It was when I had the most energy. I just started a 90 day challenge that I do in the morning. It's a 30 minute routine, so I can get it done before the kids get up. Then on 3 nights a week I try to get a run in. I am still *new* to running and the most I usually do at a time is about 4 miles, but I am trying to increase my mileage. I don't want to forgo my running in order to do these other workouts in the morning. But I can't do them back to back because then I don't have enough energy to get a good run in. Sometimes I will do a shorter run right after my 30 minute workout, but I like to do my longer running around 7 pm. If I can get it done in the afternoon, I do it then. But that's not usually an option for me.

As for the food, it looks like I am just going to need to always have some sort of lean protein ready to go for right after a workout. I don't think I need much after my workouts, but just something to recover is seeming to be necessary.

You're working out A LOT. Yikes! If it was me, I would cut wayyyyy back on all that business. Maybe try some yoga at night and cut back on some of the running and challenge work outs. 1. your body needs recovery time and it sounds like you're pushing it very hard. I understand wanting to get in shape but it's not something that can happen overnight, and at what cost to your health? 2. Working out a lot adds to your stress level and can raise cortisol which would inhibit you from losing extra weight and/or getting the results you're expecting. I recently read a study that said exercising 4 times a week was more beneficial than 6, and only 2 days a week was just slightly behind 2. So that might be something to think about.

Good Luck and take it easy!

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I have kids too- and that is why I would work out at 5a.m., before the got up. Listen to your body. Running 3 miles is not THAT much. It is a good amount. Be careful not to go for speed to frequently- that causes more injury. Have you ever done intervals on the tread mill? That will improve your running. Look up HIIT online (high intensity interval training). When i started doing HIIT, I noticed incredible results- fat burning (lasts for hours after the activity), as well as improving my running in triathlons (I have not done more than 4 miles in about a year and half). The longest I ever did was 13.1, and really, walked most of it (sorry, off track).

I do HIIT on the treadmill, and have found more effective cardio is doing them on the ellipitcal! There is a lot of ideas out there for how to vary your intervals!

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I don't feel like I am doing too much. I actually feel stronger now than I ever have. The workouts in the morning are 6 days a week and one day of rest. The first day works muscles on the front of the body, second day works muscles on the back, third day is cardio and then it repeats. I run in the evenings of the cardio days at this point, which is twice a week. I am not feeling as though I am causing more issues by working out. I just want to make sure I am fueling properly for them and after them.

As for the HIIT on the treadmill, I have done interval training before and need to it again. I always feel a huge difference in my running when I do that. I will definitely be looking into doing some more intervals next time. When I run for a distance I always get so focused on beating my last time that I forget to really enjoy it.

And for eating after my workouts, I am just really listening to what my body tells me it needs. My workouts in the morning really aren't all that intense (yet) so I'm not too worried about those. It's the ones in the evening. And I think I have figured out the best way to handle it. I just need to make sure that if the workout is significant to have lean protein ready to eat. I have just been making extra food at dinner so that there is extra protein left over. I haven't had an evening run since I posted this originally, but next time I will be prepared.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm in a similar predicament with amount of exercise. My husband and I have been doing CrossFit 5 nights a week (@ 5:30, so not too late) and sometimes a weekend team WOD and short runs. We're doing a 14 mile obstacle course in December and I'm a CRUMMY runner, so I've been trying to get better with tempo runs on weekends. Eventually we'll be doing hills on the weekends to prep, as well.

I think it all caught up to me Thursday doing a lift I had never attempted at a new box. (the 13.1 workout-- snatches!) I should have thought about it better and done clean and jerks, which I'm WAAAAY more comfortable with, but I didn't even think about it and now I think I've pulled a muscle below my left shoulder blade and on my side.

I tried running yesterday and OUCH. Is this the exercise gods telling me to dial it down? I took a rest day yesterday and another today. I don't THINK I'm working out too much (though sometimes we go to the 5:30pm class one night and then the 5:15am class the next day and that's pretty rough). Should I be taking more rest-days?

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