This blog post is closely related my post last week, Blood Type Diets – Fact or Fiction?, as I will be discussing eating for your body type and when to eat what. As I stated last week, Precision Nutrition has defined three body types, and most people can identify more with one of those types over the other two. Those three body types are ectomorphs (think long-distance runners), endomorphs (think linemen on a football team), and mesomorphs (think gymnasts and wrestlers). There are a lot of factors that play into advising someone what to eat and when to eat it, but determining your body type will help, and it is the first step I use when someone turns to me for advice. So while last week’s blog focus was on what macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) to eat for your body type, this blog post will focus on WHEN to eat those macronutrients and how important (or unimportant) nutrient timing is.
Nutrient timing (eating certain macros at certain times before, during, and after a workout) has been widely touted as a way to get as many benefits as possible from your workouts and from your food. While nutrient timing is important for professional athletes, body builders, and marathon runners, it may not be as important for everyone as was once believed. This is the opposite of what many specialists believed to be true in the past, but their initial studies often did not look at the long term. While eating for your body type may be beneficial, the timing of meals and snacks probably doesn’t make a HUGE difference for most people.
What is most important is to make sure you are eating a healthy balance of macronutrients before and after a workout. The quality and quantity of your meals are likely much more important than the timing of when you’re consuming carbs, fats, and protein. For all body types, it is recommended to eat a normal meal that provides protein, carbohydrates, and fats 1-2 hours both before and after a workout. In general women should include one portion of protein (two portions for men) and one portion of vegetables (two portions for men) at every meal, and they should include one portion of carbohydrates (two portions for men) and one portion of healthy fats (two portions for men) at most meals. As mentioned in last week’s post, ectomorphs are advised to eat carbohydrates at every meal while mesomorphs and endomorphs are advised to consume their carbs with their meals following exercise.
Drinking water before, during, and after workouts is just as important as making sure to eat balanced meals. For more information on this, check out my blog post Staying Hydrated during the Winter Months from December 4, 2017. Rather than stressing out about when – and when not – to eat carbs, protein, and fats, focus on getting protein and veggies at every meal, and make sure the foods you’re eating are fresh, whole, and high-quality.
Think positive, stay active, and smile. -A