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To Eat Or Not To Eat? Eating Before And After Working Out

25th June 2021

25th June 2021

By Beth Shelper

One of the greatest debates in the fitness community is whether to eat before or after a workout. And this debate has follow-up questions: what to eat, how long before or after workouts you should eat it, and why certain foods are beneficial at certain times. Yeah… it’s a minefield.

Firstly, your body will respond differently to exercise depending on how you have prepared for your workout. What this means is if you have eaten before, your body will engage in different processes during exercise than it would if you had not eaten, and this can affect your performance, results and progress towards your fitness goals. Make sense?

Both fuelled and fasted exercise have their benefits, but here at Innermost we wanted to put these benefits to the test to try and finally find an answer to this age old question: should I be eating before workouts or after?

Let’s discuss…

What is fuelled exercise?

Firstly, it’s important to note that proper nutrition (that is, a healthy balanced diet), is the key fuel for your exercise. This is what gives you energy, so it’s hugely important to ensure your body is properly fuelled at all times to prevent injury and maximise performance.

Generally, the best food type to fuel your body with before exercise is carbohydrates. This is because this a vital nutrient involved in physical performance, as carbohydrates are a huge source of energy.

Nutritionists recommend that you eat a full meal around two to three hours before a workout to ensure that you are in a healthy state to be engaging in high-energy workouts, with research suggesting that fuelled, or ‘fed’ exercise can boost your ability to workout for longer periods of times, therefore leading to better results.

Not only will fuelled exercise lead to these better results, being properly hydrated and energised will ensure you aren’t putting yourself at risk of injury. If you don’t get the nutrients your body requires around the hours of exercise, you are putting yourself at risk of fatigue. And no one wants that.

What is fasted exercise?

Fasted exercise refers to taking part in exercise before eating. The logic behind this is simple. Weight-loss is one of the widely discussed, rumoured benefits of fasted exercise.

This is because it is believed that when exercising on an empty stomach, or without having eaten in a prolonged period, your body will harvest the energy it requires to complete the workout from the breakdown of your stored fat, rather than taking it from the food that you have eaten throughout the day.

Whilst this sounds great if your fitness goal is to lose weight, as it insinuates that you will be breaking down more fat and therefore shedding more pounds, it’s important to remember that this is not the case. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Using fasted exercise to lose weight isn’t recommended.

This is because this breakdown in fat does not mean that you will lose more fat, as research has shown mixed results in this area. A lot of research into this area actually suggests that working out on an empty stomach can lead to the loss of energy and reduced stamina.

Plus, as we’ve said above, fuelling your body correctly and efficiently before a workout is vital to maintain adequate health and wellness levels. Don’t ignore what your body needs. Period.

Should I be eating around a workout?

So, should I eat before a workout? Yes. Should I eat after a workout? Also yes. Just make sure what you’re eating is nutritious, healthy and portion-controlled.

Here at Innermost, we are believers in fuelling your body properly and efficiently, with fresh ingredients, research-based, naturally-derived products and high quality nutrients. With that in mind, some of our favourite pre-workout go-to’s include:

Need some more inspiration for healthy delicious meals? Why not try out Our Five Favourite On-The-Go Lunches, Protein Pancake Recipes, or our Fiery Asian Chicken Soup? They’re pretty good if we do say so ourselves, and full of nutrients. Winner.  

However, if you stumbled across this article because you’re feeling fatigued and struggling for energy, check out The Energy Booster. Created with BCAAs (and without way too much caffeine), here at Innermost we wanted to formulate a product that boosts your energy naturally. The Energy Booster has won some pretty cool awards, so we think we’ve done alright. Definitely worth checking out… in our opinion.

References

  • Aird, T. P., Davies, R. W., & Carson, B. P. (2018). Effects of fasted vs fedstate exercise on performance and postexercise metabolism: A systematic review and metaScandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 28(5), 1476-1493. Click here.
  • Pacy, P. J., Barton, N., Webster, J. D., & Garrow, J. S. (1985). The energy cost of aerobic exercise in fed and fasted normal subjects. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 42(5), 764-768. Click here.
  • Vieira, A. F., Costa, R. R., Macedo, R. C., Coconcelli, L., & Kruel, L. F. (2016). Effects of aerobic exercise performed in fasted v. fed state on fat and carbohydrate metabolism in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The British journal of nutrition, 116(7), 1153–1164. Click here.

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4 Ingredients To Avoid In Supplements To Maximise Your Results
Looking to maximise your results when it comes to those all-important fitness goals? Wanting to make sure the products you're using are safe? Of course you are. When choosing the ideal fitness supplementation, it can be pretty overwhelming. Not only are you choosing the correct supplementation for your fitness goa, but you’re then navigating which ingredients to avoid in protein powder, and any other supplementation you may be taking. It can be a minefield. Don’t let this put you off, though. Don’t ignore the ingredients on your products. If anything, take extra care when reading them. They’re more important than you may have even already thought. When it comes to the top ingredients to avoid in supplements, you’re looking for a few key things. And we’re going to break them down for you. From added sugar to unnecessary fillers, here’s your one-stop guide to ingredients to avoid in supplements, by yours truly, Innermost.  Without further ado… Innermost’s top ingredients to avoid in supplements Whilst we could spend all day talking about the benefits of natural supplements such as nootropics and adaptogens, this isn’t the time. Sticking to natural products will help you to avoid fillers in supplements and other ingredients to avoid in supplements that we’re going to mention, but firstly, let’s list our top four ingredients to avoid… Added sugar Unsweetened protein powder can taste pretty bland. This is when some wellness brands turn to sugars to help out. And whilst it’s important to maintain recommended glucose levels in your diet for energy boosting purposes, added sugar is quite frankly, unnecessary. You should try and cut down your sugar intake where possible, so any fitness supplements that use added sugars should be avoided. Added sugars are also highly addictive, and should be avoided for this reason alone. Check the ingredients of your supplement to see what sweetener has been added here. Added sugars have been linked to obesity and heart diseases, so are best to be avoided. There are plenty of healthier alternatives to added sugars, such as natural sweeteners… for example. Xanthan gum (and other fillers) One of the absolutely key ingredients to avoid are fillers in supplementations. Common fillers in supplementations include: Cellulose Gelatin Starch Talc Silicon Dioxide Titanium Dioxide …just to name a few. Sometimes referred to as bulking agents, fillers in supplementations are used for a number of reasons: To keep manufacturing costs low To achieve a desired supplementation texture To up the amount of product a customer receives Whilst you may be under the impression that your protein powder only includes protein, that is not the case. Make sure none of the extra ingredients are any of those harmful fillers mentioned above, as the presence of these can not only reduce the quality of your supplementation, but can cause bloating, gas and gastric discomfort – amongst other health issues (that we will go into later). Not what you want. Here at Innermost we are committed to not using these harmful fillers in our products. You can be sure of it. Vegetable oils and fats Often included to increase the richness, texture and taste of fitness supplementations, these oils can actually wreak havoc on your intestinal system. These oils are harmful to our diet in large quantities, so including them in fitness supplementations is entirely unnecessary. Not only unnecessary, but harmful. They also add a large quantity of calories to your supplement, so if your fitness goal is to lose weight, these are definitely to be avoided. Skimmed milk powder Used to bulk up powders that are lacking in quality, skimmed milk powder can be a nightmare for anyone with a lactose intolerance. Skimmed milk powder should be avoided due to their high lactose sugar content, which can be pretty harmful to your gastrointestinal system. Think bloating, constipation, and gas. Not pleasant. Excess lactose and sugar can also cause acne and nausea… even to those that don’t have a particular aversion to lactose or dairy. Why should I avoid these supplement ingredients? All in all, every ingredient we have listed above has been linked to detrimental effects on users health. Whether that effect is organ damage, risk of acne, weight gain, heart defects… or even death. Now, that may sound pretty serious (and it is), when using supplementations with these harmful ingredients in them every day, you’re really putting yourself and your body at risk. Instead, opt for natural ingredients, from reputable brands. The less ingredients the better, and if they’re backed by research, that’s the goal. That’s what we call a well and truly clean protein powder. Summary If you spot any of the above ingredients in a potential protein powder or supplementation, no whey should you be adopting the product into your routine. Cheesy protein puns aside, though, it’s important to track what you’re putting in your body. Read more
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