The Importance of Nutritional Timings
There are a lot of questions in the fitness world regarding nutritional timings and in this blog we will discuss the importance of it. If you are looking to take your nutrition to the next level to improve your performance in the gym, this blog will help answer some of your questions.
The Biggest Myth
'You need to eat every couple of hours' is something that you have probably heard before. This isn't true and it can be different for every individual. Your daily calorie intake is the most important factor and this doesn't have to be across 6 meals. In fact by eating every couple of hours you may find hunger levels are higher as you won't be eating high volume foods.
Think of your meals as fuel for your workouts. You want to be planning in most your calories and carbohydrates around your training sessions if you are looking to optimise performance. You should also be thinking of when your appetite spikes and you get cravings. By planning your biggest meal of the day around this time, you will find it easier to keep your daily calories lower.
There isn't an anabolic window after training where if you eat food your muscles will suddenly grow. It can however be a good time to plan in a high carb and high protein meal as the food will be used to replenish glycogen in your muscles and the protein will be used to help repair the muscle tissue that you have just broken down in the gym. Post workout is usually when hunger levels are at their highest as you have just been burning energy during your session. If this is the case with you, try and plan a meal in post-workout.
There is a big discussion around fasting and intermittent fasting in general. Fasting isn't going to magically make you lose weight as you still have to be cautious of what you are consuming however it is a good tool to help you eat less calories in a day. By fasting in the morning you can then push your meals back and save your calories for larger meals, it can be a good idea to have your biggest meal around the time of day when you get the most cravings.
Eating Before Bed
Eating before going to bed won't have an impact on your overall body composition however it can have an impact on your sleep. When you eat a big meal your heart rate will increase and this can cause struggles when trying to get to sleep. This isn't the same for everyone though, some people feel they sleep better on a full stomach, it's all about testing how foods behave with your own body.
To conclude, when you eat your foods isn't going to matter as much as you may think however planning them strategically can have a positive impact on training performance which can then lead to improved body composition. Daily calorie and macro intake should always be your main priority if you are looking to change your overall body composition.