What should I eat if I am regularly strength training?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Proper nutrition is an important part of any fitness regiment. What you eat influences your performance, and so can when you eat. You should try to always eat a healthy breakfast and avoid eating any large meal right before you work out. Adequate blood sugar levels are crucial to a good work out. This is why sports nutrition often concentrates on carbohydrate intake. Remember that protein is needed to repair muscles and may be beneficial if eaten after a workout.

Strength training requires more protein than other exercises, but, unless you're an elite athlete, you probably get enough protein in your everyday diet as it is. However, research suggests that when you get your protein may be key in how quickly you amass muscle. Grab a meal with protein right after your workout and you may benefit from a greater increase in muscle mass than if you wait a few hours.

In addition, you'll need an adequate amount of carbs to make it through that final set. And don't forget some healthy fats to round out your diet.

Water Needs: To avoid painful muscle aches the next day, be sure to replenish any fluids lost. Muscle aches are caused, in part, by excessive water loss through perspiration.

If you are regularly strength training, it is important you maintain a well-balanced diet. Make sure you are ingesting plenty of protein so your body has the adequate nutrients it needs to repair and lay the foundation for additional lean body mass.  Athletes should consume between 0.8-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to allow for adequate muscle recovery and growth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.