There is a lot of conflicting information on how much protein, carbohydrates, and fat you should be eating on a daily basis, especially when it comes to working out and building muscle! The best advice is to have a healthy balance of all three macronutrients.
Protein is always the main topic when discussing muscle building. It is a key component in building muscle, but there is such a thing as too much. The general recommendation is that 10-35% of your calories should come from protein. If you are actively building muscle and are athletic then you would want to choose the larger percentage. However, eating too much protein can lead to it being stored as fat in the body, since any excess calories no matter the source ends up being stored. Good sources of protein are lean meats, poultry without the skin and baked, fish, egg whites, and low fat dairy products.
Carbohydrates are a very important part of working out. It is the fuel for our body and will help increase your endurance during a workout. Choosing healthy carbohydrates such as low fat dairy products, which also has protein in it and vegetables are great choices. You can also choose whole grain foods, but too much fiber before working out can actually cause discomfort.
You can add a little bit of fat into your pre and post workout diet, as long as it is healthy fats. They do contain more calories than carbohydrates and protein per gram, so a little bit does go a long way. There are benefits to eating fat such as omega 3s, which is an anti-inflammatory. This is most commonly found in fatty fish such as salmon, and other foods like chia seeds.
One of the reasons ABS Pancakes was created was to help fuel your workout! They contain at least 25g of protein per serving and 3-8g of carbohydrates. They make a perfect pre or post workout snack, to help fuel your muscles!
Another key is the timing of when you should be eating pre and post workout. It is recommended to eat one to three hours before a workout and 20 minutes after a workout. Your pre and post workout meals should consist of a mixture of healthy carbohydrates and protein as a snack. The protein will help you rebuild muscle, while the carbohydrates will be your fuel and that way your body will have fuel during your workout and have the needed nutrients for recovery after your workout. It is also important to drink water before, during, and after a workout to make up for fluids lost due to sweat.
When it comes to nutrition and working out, it does take some time and experimenting to find out the best mixture of foods to eat pre and post workout. But a good combination of carbohydrates and protein, as well as timing your snacks will increase your results and better prepare your body for your workouts!
ABS Pancakes: abspancakes.com
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Eatright.org