Congratulations! With yesterday's tough leg day, you officially finished the weight training portion of the 30-Day Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Fitness. But you're not done learning yet! And if your legs can muster the strength, you'll do some more sprints tomorrow.
If you just said, "Yeah, right!" then you're in the right mindset to learn more about pre- and post-workout nutrition. These two elements aren't just for elite athletes. On the contrary, strategic athletic nutrition can make a big difference in how long it takes anyone to get back into the gym after hard training, and how much you're willing and able to accomplish once you're there.
Ultimate 30 Day Beginners Guide To Fitness: Day 28
Watch The Video - 02:10
Day 28 Challenge
- Learn about pre- and post-workout nutrition.
- Get an extra hour or two of sleep beyond the normal. Now that's a challenge worth accepting!
Pre-Workout Power Up
As Steve indicated, the purpose of a pre-workout is to help you have a better workout, both mentally and physically. Many contain caffeine, a proven performance booster, but that's definitely not all. Optimum Nutrition's AmiN.O. Energy, one of our most popular products, also contains a number of popular ingredients in pre-workout supplements, such as:
- Branched-chain amino acids: Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the three BCAAs, which are the amino acids your body utilizes most heavily in order to build and repair muscle. Leucine is arguably the most important of these.
- Citrulline and/or Arginine: Both these aminos can help boost blood flow and nitric oxide (NO) production, increasing muscular endurance and the "pump" effect during bodybuilding workouts like the one yesterday.
- Beta-alanine: This amino acid helps your body buffer the lactic acid that builds up during exercise, boosting muscular endurance during high-energy work like weightlifting and sprinting.
* Ratings as of article's date of publication
As Steve indicated in today's video, post-workout nutrition is all about kick-starting the healing process and refueling nutrients which are depleted during exercise. A protein shake is the perfect capstone to your training, although as Matt Biss explains in our beginner's guide to workout nutrition, BCAAs are also great in this setting. Research has indicated that they can even help combat the sort of post-exercise muscle soreness you're probably feeling right now!