Here’s the Best Way to Avoid Jeopardising Your Muscle Gain: Tips for Fueling Your Workouts and Maximising Your Recovery

Building muscle is more than just lifting weights – it’s about creating a lifestyle that supports your fitness goals. At Function Fitness, we know how important it is to balance your workouts with proper nutrition and recovery. Ever wondered how you can make the most of your efforts in the gym? Here’s some common questions I’m asked with my advice on how to fuel your workouts and maximise your recovery.

Pre-Workout Nutrition

What Should You Eat Before a Workout?

Have you ever felt sluggish during a workout and wondered if it had something to do with what (or when) you ate? Eating the right foods before exercising can make a huge difference. Ideally, you should have a balanced meal 2-3 hours before your workout. This meal should include:

  • Complex Carbohydrates: Foods like oats, brown rice, or sweet potatoes give you sustained energy.
  • Lean Proteins: Think chicken, fish, tofu or legumes to support muscle repair and growth.
  • Healthy Fats: Avocados, nuts and seeds can help keep you feeling full and energised.

In a rush? Grab a quick snack 30-60 minutes before hitting the gym, like a banana with almond butter, a protein shake with some oats, or Greek yoghurt with a handful of berries.

How Important is Hydration?

Do you find yourself flagging halfway through your workout? Staying hydrated is key. Drink water consistently throughout the day, and make sure you’re well-hydrated before you start exercising. During intense or long sessions, consider sipping on water mixed with electrolytes to replace lost minerals.

Should You Eat During Your Workout?

For workouts over an hour, especially those that are particularly intense, intra-workout nutrition can be beneficial. Simple carbs like a sports drink or a small piece of fruit can give you a quick energy boost. Some people also find that a small amount of protein, like a BCAA supplement, helps maintain muscle during long sessions.

Maximising Your Recovery

What’s the Best Post-Workout Meal?

Wondering what to eat after your workout to make sure all that effort pays off? Aim to eat a meal with both protein and carbohydrates within 30-60 minutes post-workout. This helps replenish your glycogen stores and provides the amino acids your muscles need to recover and grow. Some great options include:

  • A protein shake with a banana
  • Grilled chicken with quinoa and veggies
  • Greek yoghurt with fruit and honey

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

People often underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep! Sleep is when your body repairs and builds muscle. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Create a sleep-friendly environment by establishing a regular sleep routine and avoiding screens before bed.

What is Active Recovery?

Think rest days mean doing nothing? Think again. Incorporate light activities like walking, yoga, or stretching on your rest days to promote blood flow and aid in recovery. Active recovery helps reduce muscle soreness and gets you ready for your next workout.

Are Recovery Tools Worth It?

Have you ever tried foam rolling or a massage gun? Tools like these can help alleviate muscle soreness and improve circulation. Regular stretching and mobility exercises can also aid in recovery and prevent injuries.

Should You Listen to Your Body?

Feeling unusually fatigued or sore? It might be a sign that you need more rest. Pushing through extreme fatigue can lead to overtraining and injuries, which can set back your progress. Listen to your body – it’s smarter than you think!

Building muscle is a journey that requires consistent effort both in and out of the gym. Remember, the journey to muscle gain is as much about what you do outside the gym as it is about your workouts. Fuel your body right, recover well, and enjoy watching your progress!

Are you ready to optimise your workouts and recovery? At Function Fitness, we’re here to support your journey with personalised guidance and expert advice. Book your Free No Sweat Intro with the simple click of a button below, and let’s create a plan tailored to your fitness goals. 

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