Pre and post workout nutrition strategies for kettlebell training
The right nutrition plan and timings of your food or supplements before and after your work outs are some very important components to think about when kettlebell training. This article will shed some light on these key factors and it will discuss some nutrition guidelines, so that you hit the ground running when are performing your kettlebell work out. Plus it will enable you to recover effectively. A key point to consider is that an excellent work out is always planned in the kitchen even before you even step foot into the gym.
If you don’t have the right nutritional strategy for your kettlebell regime; then you are doing yourself an injustice when it comes to you achieving your goals. If you are working out when you are in a starved state, you will not have enough energy for you to maximise your fitness gains. If you are exercising for a long duration without eating, you are limiting your body’s ability to burn calories and to sustain the intensity of the kettlebell work out. In addition, if you don’t feed your muscles and restock your energy stores after exercise, you will not have the essential recovery tools in your armoury.
What should you eat before your session?
As mentioned previously the main aim of the pre work out nutrition plan is to start the kettlebell session in a fed state and to ensure that all of the foods that you have eaten have been digested and absorbed properly. The last thing that you want to do is eat a meal that is very high in slow acting proteins and fats, because they take longer to digest and they can make you feel sluggish and zap you of your energy. When you eat , the blood is redirected to the digestive system to help with the breakdown of foods. This essentially takes away the blood from the skeletal muscles; thus reduces the oxygen supply and waste removal when exercising. So the kettlebell session will be much harder work when you have eaten a meal which is high in fats and proteins. More often than not stomach ache is attached to this scenario when training.
To ensure that you are full of energy when you perform you kettlebell session, eat a meal that is roughly 300-500 calories, high in fast acting carbs and proteins, 2 hours before you begin the session. Try consuming a small bowl of porridge, whole meal cereal or even a small yam or sweet potato as these are a good example of some fast acting carbs. If you have to eaten 5-10 minutes before you work out then consume half a banana or a small spoonful of peanut butter along with a small handful of almonds.
Staying hydrated is essential for kettlebell athletes because without proper hydration your body will find it harder to deliver the nutrients to the muscles, along with oxygen and water to the cells. This will decrease your energy levels and it will make the session a lot harder. Try to drink at least 2 litres of water per day but don’t over do it before your work out because you will feel bloated and sluggish. A good strategy is for you to drink your water intake gradually and continuously before you begin your work out!
In terms of supplements you can drink a whey protein shake that is high in branched chain amino acids 1 hour before you train, as this will ensure the following:
- They are a catalyst for muscle protein synthesis and then it binds together the muscle amino acids to create a stronger muscle infra-structure
- They boost insulin levels to facilitate an anabolic environment during protein synthesis. This mechanism enables the right balance of nutrition, hormones and metabolic actions that are essential for you to create muscle and burning fat
- They enhance human growth hormone levels and decrease the stress hormone’s (cortisol) levels. Cortisol is a hormone that breaks down muscle tissue to be used as body fuel. This is very bad news for muscle building and weight loss.
A post work out nutrition strategy
The supplement intake post exercise is very important for aiding recovery along with growth and repair. Branched chain amino acids (BCAAS) are again an excellent choice to consume post exercise; the question is why?
Well, BCAAs are broken down quickly and used in the working muscle effectively because they by-pass the liver. It is this process within the body that stops muscle soreness after you exercise because it blocks muscle damage and increases muscle growth and repair. Plus, it increases insulin levels post exercise and this induces an anabolic environment which is a primary factor in muscle growth and repair.
They should be consumed within 45 minutes of stopping your session and this is a very important timeframe as enzymes and hormones are actively repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, as well as restocking your glycogen stores. This makes your muscle tissues very susceptible to the nutrients and building muscle hormones. You should be using a simple carb such as maltodexrin because it raises your insulin levels and this will drives the amino acids into the muscle tissue. This will also increase your glycogen stores and add a banana or an orange to boost your lost electrolyte levels, as this will further your recovery.
The latest studies in 2014 state that BCAA’s cannot be absorbed without the assistance of Whey Protein. Previously we have been consuming BCAA’s throughout the day to further enhance recovery. This could be doing more damage than good. Find a good Whey Protein with BCAA’s.