I’ve been the sports nutritionist for three professional teams and numerous athletes in my private practice, and whether you head to a 9-5 job each day and work out when you can, or you earn a living exercising, the right nutrition plan is the real key to results. Here are five mistakes that may interfere with getting the most out of your training time:
Drinking a Protein Shake Before a Workout
Protein is digested much slower than carbs, so too much pre-workout can give you stomach cramps and prevent the carbs you need for fuel from getting absorbed and becoming available to your working muscles.
The Fix: Reach for a smaller quantity of protein, along with slow burning carbs pre-workout, and choose higher protein shakes, snacks or meals afterwards.
Exercising on an Empty Stomach
It’s physiologically impossible to burn pure body fat — during aerobic exercise you burn a combo of carbs and fat. When carbs aren’t readily available, your body is forced to break down its own muscle mass and convert it into blood sugar. That means by skipping a meal, you may end up eating away at your own muscle instead of building it!
The Fix: If you don’t like the feeling of food in your stomach when you exercise stick with a liquid, like a small smoothie made with unsweetened frozen fruit and organic skim or soy milk.