5 Things to Consider Before Preparing Workout Meals

Dedicated bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts spend a lot of time in the gym, and workouts usually involve hours of weight training or other routines. In such a scenario, prepping muscle meals in the kitchen seems to take a lot of time, more for some than others, and as a result, this cuts into their daily routine, making them fall short of available hours in a day. This is a big problem for those who pursue fitness in Australia, and consequently, they have to sacrifice some of their time optimising for their workout goals or end up burning out and failing to do anything at all.

1. Set Aside a Day or Two for Stocking Up Supplies

A better option instead of going out every four days and shopping for groceries and meat: go for the days where it’s the rest day from the gym, like Wednesday or Sunday, and use this day to store all the kitchen essentials. This way, one can focus completely on all the other days of workout schedules without trimming into the hours. Also, make sure to highlight the important ingredients, and don’t just randomly buy stuff off the shelves. 

2. Prepping Meals

First, buy a set of containers and boxes that are preferably reusable, like the ones workers use for lunches and meals. And create a meal plan that doesn’t involve the same meal every day, as this creates a sense of monotony and lack of variety. Moreover, having a meal plan helps create an efficient list of groceries and essentials and prevents wasting money on random purchases.

3. Highlighting the Boxes After Storing Them

After preparing the meals and storing them in containers, highlight the boxes with the help of markers or labels so that the ingredients for every meal will be available for use without much of a hassle. Also, don’t forget to add in an expiry date so that you can use them before they get spoiled.

4. Get Meals Delivered

This is the best option available for those struggling to keep up with their schedules. Service providers that prep muscle meals save people a lot of time prepping and cooking, and this gets their work done in no time. But before opting for a meal prepping store, make sure that their ingredients are healthy and beneficial and look into their products and how they obtain them.

5. Keep It Simple

Meal prepping doesn’t have to be a complicated task. You can start small and find out what works best and work up from there. In the meantime, you must understand that not every two individuals can share the best meal plan, so shape one according to your preferences and interests.

The specific recommendations on what to eat, when, and how much will vary significantly depending on the time of day, type of workout, and your personal goals, explains Jennifer McDaniel, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who is board certified in sports nutrition and owns the private nutrition practice McDaniel Nutrition Therapy based in Clayton, Missouri.

What to Eat Before a Workout (and How Long You Should Wait Before Hitting the Gym)

In general, eating some combination of protein and carbohydrates before a workout to sustain energy and build muscle is advised, says Kate Patton, RD, who specializes in sports nutrition at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Foods with a high amount of fat or fiber, on the other hand (think broccoli or a grilled cheese sandwich), should be avoided, as they may cause stomach upset and cramping.

Waking up with enough time to eat a small breakfast before intense workouts may be ideal, McDaniel adds. The extra calories in your system help prevent fatigue, so you have enough energy to complete your workout at a time of day when you might otherwise feel pretty exhausted. You’ll be able to push it harder when you have some fuel in you!

Do I Need to Fuel Up During My Workout?

Do you really need to fuel up mid-workout with a sports drink, or one of those gels or gummies? The answer, for the vast majority of people, is no. Shorter-duration workouts of 60 minutes or less, such as circuit training, yoga, light jogging, and CrossFit can be fueled solely with pre- and post-workout meals or snacks, says McDaniel — there’s no need for anything during your workout but some water.

The Best Things to Eat After a Workout

Most people who complete a moderate bout of exercise — an hour or less — don’t need a specific recovery food if they will be eating a snack or meal that includes a mixture of carbs and protein within a few hours of their workout, McDaniel explains. But there are some people who should be paying closer attention to what they eat after exercise.

“Recovery nutrition” tends to be most important after intense endurance or strength-training workouts (say, a 90-minute bike ride or weight-lifting session), or when an athlete trains multiple times in a single day.

What would a healthy post-workout snack look like?

Most recovery snacks can be within the 100- to 300-calorie range (more if you haven’t eaten much earlier in the day, and on the lower-calorie end if you’ve eaten more already). Do keep in mind though, if you’re trying to lose weight and you’re not an athlete, your post-workout snack will likely need to be on the small side, says McDaniel.

Some post-workout snack ideas include:

  • Raisin bread with cottage cheese and sliced bananas
  • A whole-wheat tortilla with hummus
  • Plain Greek yogurt with walnuts and honey
  • Flavored kefir
  • Whole-wheat crackers with cheese and dried figs
  • A couple of eggs with toast and fruit

Your any favorite smoothie blended with the best machine, that includes a mix of healthy proteins and carbs – Vitamix family of blenders are most efficient for this job. You can also check out Vitamix 5200 vs 5300 comparisons here.

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