Ideal composition of daily meals while working out

The moment you choose to workout regularly and progress physically – you need to know that you are stressing your body. After training, your muscles will be inflammed and therefore will feel painful. They are inflamed because they have been ‘damaged’ by training after which they need to be regenerated. Our body is a smart machine that will initiate the recovery process itself. However, you can also help it by choosing a meal consciously that will help its recovery. Since nearly all of our tissues are made of protein, muscles need to be provided with enough protein, both for recovery and for further progress. Through 2-3 standard daily meals most people cannot take-in enough protein to compensate for the stress exposed. Therefore, the best way for a person who regularly trains and wants to progress, is to eat 4-5 smaller meals per day which are rich in this compound. Sources include: eggs, chicken and turkey meat, low-fat beef, salmon, mackerel, tuna, hake, low-fat cheese, and so on.

In addition to protein, there are also complex (and simple) carbohydrates which need to be taken into account. If you want to reduce the percentage of subcutaneous fat, you need to reduce your in-take of carbohydrates. BUT! In addition to being essential for weight loss, carbs are very important in muscle building . So we can freely say – no carbs, no muscle! When there is no muscle, how will fat be burned during a workout? That’s why research has shown that it is by no means good to completely remove carbohydrates from a diet, because they are the fastest source of energy. Carbohydrate sources for a person who regularly worksout should be reduced to rice, grains and kernels, quinoa, yams, potatoes and oatmeal. As far as fruit is concerned, berries are the best choice because they have a low sugar content and glycemic index.

We must not forget that the fats, which are equally important as carbohydrates for energy in-take. When talking about fats, the only type of fats which are allowed are the ‘good fats’ of which primary sources are cold-pressed oils (pumpkin, linseed, olive, grape…), avocado, egg yolks and nuts (almonds, pecans, peanuts, walnuts…) raw or baked, not fried.

In addition to each of your daily meals consisting of protein, your pre-workout and post-workout meals must contain complex carbohydrates. Accordingly, the remaining daily meals should contain healthy fats. For example, it is ideal to start your day off with eggs as a source of protein (egg white) and fat (yolk). In the second meal, which precedes training, you should have one of the listed meats or fish as a source of protein and boiled rice or some other carb. The post-training meal is very similar to the meal before the training, while the last meal of the day can consist of protein and fat in the composition of macronutrients. Also, it is important that all 4 meals have fiber sources, which are best as leafy green vegetables.

Of course, all the above mentioned needs to be calculated according to the current state, needs and goals of a particular person. Normally, if you adhere to this for at least 8 weeks, you will surely see the results.

For Klub Zdravih Navika: Janka Budimir – certified trainer, nutritionist and physiotherapist

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