Menopause Menu: Pre- and Post-Workout NutritionNov 12, 2020
Do you know why it is important to consume quality nutrition after your workout? What about before your workout? Is there a magic window of time to replenish energy reserves? Let’s look into it.
*Menopause specific: Muscles shrink*
Building and maintaining muscle is tougher during menopause due to plunging hormone levels. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest. Exercise will help you keep muscle and build more. Strength training, interval training, and consuming protein within half an hour of hard exercise will help.
Consuming a combination of protein and carbohydrates is essential for optimal physical recovery and tissue repair. (add link) I usually choose a shake because that’s an easy way of replenishing nutrients after exercise. My favorite recipe is a protein powder, peanut butter, banana, almond milk, chia, and ice. Shakes are only one option. Any combination of a quality protein with carbohydrates will do the trick.
The window of opportunity:
After a workout, you have 30 minutes for your body to replenish. Beyond that ideal 30 minute intervals, you miss the anabolic window.
I’m a fan of pre-workout nutrition because my favorite workouts are high-intensity and I need the fuel. There is plenty of research highlighting the benefit of pre-workout nutrition for those with the primary goal of increasing muscle size/strength, and/or engaging in high-intensity/long-distance training. Consuming a pre-exercise shake/meal within 1-2 hours before working out can greatly improve training performance. It makes sense. You wouldn’t drive a car across the country without enough gas in it, right? My go-to pre-workout snack is a peanut butter banana sandwich. I don’t care for shakes before my workout because I don’t feel they give the same amount of energy as solid foods. That’s my personal preference and you should definitely find what works for you.
Both pre-and post-workout nutrition is important for different reasons. If you want the best training performance and maximum recovery:
- Consume a pre-workout meal 1-2 hours before
- Consume a post-workout meal within 60 min after exercise.
Both should consist of high-quality protein/carbohydrates. 💪
Small habits such as adding pre-and post-workout nutrition can be a key factor in helping you reach your fitness goals, may those be weight loss, muscle, and/or strength gain.