How and When to Fuel Your Body Throughout the Day

As part of our ongoing focus to help you get the information to make yourself better and improve your game. We're sharing some of the things that are top of our minds in the office at the moment. Like you, we are working remotely, balancing our family interactions in between the workload given our closer proximity. We are spending more time on our health, mind, and fitness as we have a little more time up our sleeve without the usual travel compensation that you normally reconcile in the day. 

Within Part 3, we are talking about making time in the day to get enough nutrients, which can make a huge difference in your health and happiness, and knowing what times of the day are best for specific food groups is even better. Knowing when to eat certain nutrients in the day for optimal body performance, brain activity, and a balanced mood will help you be more productive at work, in your workouts, and when out in social situations.

While it's best to get the right balance of protein, fats, and carbs, there are specific periods in the day that are better suited for these nutrients, where the body is best able to absorb, digest, or healthily use them. Here are the best times of day to eat fats, carbs, and fats. With a few simple tweaks in your eating schedule, you'll find your body to be running at optimal speed and have more energy and motivation in your day.

Morning 

Eat protein at breakfast.

Eating protein is super beneficial for powering the day.

Eat healthy fats at breakfast.

When consuming foods high in fat, aim to consume at breakfast or mid-morning, and healthy options include peanut butter, protein-rich eggs, or whole milk Greek yogurt. The fat in these items will provide energy that not only can be burned off throughout the day but also, fat is a satiating nutrient. It will tide you over and help to avoid cravings that might pop up early, should you only have simple sugars or carbs for breakfast.

Throughout The Day

Eat protein throughout the day.

Protein intake is best spread throughout the day, doubling your daily protein intake can help you build more muscle and burn more fat when you're cutting calories and performing a high-intensity exercise. "You'll want to break this intake into 3-5 doses throughout the day and aim to consume at least 30 grams of protein at most meals and snacks. There are some great ways to add protein to your diet in these smaller amounts for sustained energy.

If you're hoping to prep your body for whatever it may need to tackle fuel and resources, consider shaping your eating habits and schedule to fit these time periods better. Your body will appreciate the extra care.

 

Pre-workout

Eat carbs before working out.

Before you exercise, nourish your body with carbohydrates. These will provide the kind of 'fast-acting' energy that you need when you are physically active. Your body needs an immediate source of energy, so aim for something that is in the 150-200 calorie range, rather than something that is too dense. Watch the fiber in those whole grains and fresh fruits, If you're looking for a quick, light pre-workout snack, look for an option with quality carbohydrates that are lower in fat and fiber, such as whole-grain cereals (with low-fat or skim milk), whole-wheat toast, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, whole grain pasta, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables.

Post-Workout

Eat protein & carbs after working out.

After a workout, you need to replenish your body with carbs and protein – within 30 minutes; As your body works to repair and build your muscles, you need protein to provide essential amino acids required in this process. Amino acids, often referred to as the building blocks of proteins, are compounds that play many critical roles in your body. They're needed for vital processes like the building of proteins and synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Since you've depleted your glycogen (energy) stores while exercising, you need to replenish this by eating carbs. Nutrient timing post-exercise calls for a mix of carbs and protein (in a 2:1-4:1 ratio) within 45 minutes post-exercise.

Night Time

Avoid excess protein at night. 

If you are more prone to indigestion, it's best to refrain from high fat and hard to digest proteins late in the evening, and a nice PM snack of whole-grain oatmeal and cinnamon may be better tolerated. Stick with something simple in the late hours if you're known to have stomach issues after meals.

Avoid fatty foods at night.

Meals should contain a small amount of each type of macronutrient (fat, protein & carbs); however, there are some circumstances where your body has a higher demand for a specific type of nutrient." Eating too large quantities of high-fat items could be problematic late at night. It can take 2-4 hours for fat to digest, so if you eat it too late in the evening, your body won't have as much time to utilize this energy before storing it.

Eat complex carbohydrates at night.

Complex carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules that are strung together in long, complex chains. Complex carbohydrates are found in foods such as peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables. The best time to consume carbohydrates is in the evening at dinnertime, eating carbs in the evening beneficially modifies leptin - a satiety hormone - and adiponectin, a protein that regulates insulin secretion. However, eating healthy carbohydrates in modest portions is critical.


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