Do you struggle to understand when you should be eating around your training? Wondering whether you should be training fasted or fed? Let’s break it down.
Firstly, meal timing isn’t something you should be getting too hung up about. Unless you are at an elite level or training for a competition, marathon etc it isn’t the be all and end all and won’t affect progress nearly as much as people think.
Firstly, research has shown that you do not burn more calories by training fasted. So NO, fasted cardio isn’t better for you! However if you do train first thing in the morning and find that you are unable to eat beforehand, it is also perfectly ok to train fasted. Do bear in mind that you won’t have as much energy and therefore if you want to do some heavy lifting and aim for some personal bests it probably isn’t ideal.
If you are training later in the day I would recommend having something containing carbs and protein before you train, ideally 1-2 hours prior. This will fuel your workout and help the muscle building process along. If you have consumed protein before there is no huge rush to get some in straight after your workout. I would recommend spacing protein out throughout the day so aiming to have some at each meal is ideal.
If you didn’t manage to consume protein before you trained, I would ideally aim to have some within an hour or two of finishing your workout. This gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and grow muscle mass.
So, in an ideal world, carbs and protein before training and some protein asap after if you didn’t manage any prior, But remember, most importantly, listen to your body, discover what works for you, what makes you feel the strongest and go from there.