Meal Timing by ICON Meals' Taeler De Haes
When should I eat?
Should I do intermittent fasting?
What should I eat?
Should I eat before I workout?
In order to understand the timing of your food, you first want to understand how to build a meal. If you are someone who eats six small meals (aka snacks) all day, I challenge you to break that habit.
When we eat a meal, which should contain 25g of protein (or more for men), we go into what’s called protein synthesis, which is the process in which amino acids are arranged into proteins that are used to create muscle growth. When you eat protein, you are consuming amino acids. Your body breaks those down to get free amino acids needed to build its own proteins. The amino acid, leucine, directly stimulates protein synthesis.
In order to reap the benefits, you want to make sure there is enough time between meals, usually 2 hours minimum. Research shows 3 hours is optimal, with four feeding times of 20g of protein minimal.
CREATING A MEAL
Anytime you eat a meal, you want to make sure you get a balance of protein, carbs and fats. You will want your meal to be around 30 percent protein, 30-40 percent carbs and 20-30% fat. This will vary based on your goals and when you are consuming the meal (stay tuned for pre and post workout).
Here are a few examples of balanced meals.
👉🏻Peanut Butter + Jelly + Bread + Protein Shake (or our protein PB&J)
Protein timing does matter. You’ll gain muscle faster eating 4-6 servings of protein every day then fewer; however, it is not a deal breaker like your total protein intake.
You should eat a meal about 60-90 minutes before you workout. This meal should contain lean protein, easy-to-digest carbohydrates (sweet potato or rice) and low to moderate fat. (My favorite is chicken, sweet potato and peanut butter.)
If you train first thing in the morning, I recommend something light and easily digestible, such as 1 scoop of protein powder, a greek yogurt cup or a banana with peanut butter. The goal is to provide fuel for your body to utilize during a workout. Fats are slow digesting, so you only want to consume around 15-20% of your daily fat intake pre workout. (I always eat a @bambodynutrition brownie, as it’s mainly protein with moderate carbs and fats, so it’s perfect at 5:00 am.)
Immediately, you want to drink a scoop of protein powder. When purchasing a protein, you want to make sure it is predominantly an isolate, which means the dairy component has been extracted. This is easier on the digestive tract, and it’s also faster absorbing. Also avoid any protein with more than about 5g of carbohydrates, as this means it’s not a very good quality. The purpose is to feed your muscles after working hard to start the repair process. This also prevents that “hanger” post workout.
An hour or so after training, you want to eat a meal. This meal is similar to your pre workout meal, but you want to keep fats a little bit lower. Again, this meal is meant to fuel your body, and we want it to be fairly quick to digest. Keep fats around 10 percent of your total daily intake. Since I train in the morning, I like to make a giant egg white omelette with veggies and oatmeal with peanut butter on the side.
The easiest way to make sure you’re prepared for proper nutrition is to have food ready to go. With free shipping from ICON Meals, there’s no excuse not to fuel your body with the best ingredients.
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