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How to Properly Fuel Your Workout

Which is better, protein or carbohydrates? What is going to give me the energy to run, or increase my muscles? Talk to ten different people, and you may start a heated debate amongst the crowd. Here are answers to five common questions to help you the next time you work out. 

Will Protein Make my Muscles Grow? 

Protein is important for a balanced diet, but simply eating more protein will not magically make you stronger. The only way to grow muscles is to eat enough calories to build mass, and put them to work! Carbohydrates are the major fuel for muscles, and the body converts carbs to glycogen, which is stored in your muscles to power your workout.

Do Sports Drinks, Gels, and Energy Bites Help?

In a vacuum, there’s nothing special about sports drinks, gels, and energy bites, but it is important to properly replace fluids for long workouts. Gels and energy bites are best for individuals who tend to get upset stomachs from eating solid meals prior to working out, or food during fitness. 

Should I Work Out on an Empty Stomach? 

Don’t skip breakfast before a morning workout, as your body needs fuel to function properly. Eating before exercise has been shown to improve performance. Breakfast helps replenish liver glycogen and regulates blood sugar levels. If it’s hard to stomach solid food in the morning, fruit smoothies or liquid meal supplements are great alternatives. 

If I Exercise Regularly, I Can Eat What I Want, When I Want… RIGHT?!

Short answer… no. Before adopting this method, it’s important to accurately understand how many calories are burned during physical fitness. For casual exercisers who work out for an hour or less, opt for a healthy balanced diet. 

Are There Benefits to Chocolate Milk? 

Chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid because of its protein and carbohydrate content, but should not be used as the sole source of recovery sources. Replacing fluids should be the first goal, which means water and fruits are the best sources for immediate recovery.

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