Calories and weight lifting

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Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 518

Posted: 24 May 2010, 00:00
I have cardio 6x a week and weight lifting 3x a week. I rest one day.

Should I up calories a day before I lift weights, on the day or post workout?

Currently, I eat a little less on the off day and the cardio days. What works best for you?
Do NOT quit! The universe always bows to persistence - Tom Venuto

Joined: Mar 09
Posts: 142

Posted: 24 May 2010, 03:11
This is actually a rather tricky question. I'll tell you what works for me but ultimately you'll have to engage in a little trial and error to see what works best for you.

Usually I try to keep my simple carbohydrates low (sugars, refined wheat products) and keep protein high. This means a lot of lean meat and very little in the way of sugary products (though I've been slipping recently on that, as my wife is pregnant and has been craving sweets so they've once again gained a foothold in the house).

However, right after a workout is the time to eat carbs! When you engage in any exercise that strains your muscles you will be using up glycogen reserves. Glycogen is effectively sugar and water stored in the muscles for quick energy. To replenish that you'll need carbohydrates, preferably complex carbohydrates, to satisfy your glycogen needs. Depending on your gender and muscles mass you'll need somewhere between 150 and 250 grams of carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen but how much you actually need depends on the severity of your workout. I generally just plan 250 for the day and make sure I eat about 100 grams after a workout.

So that works for me. I keep my calorie intake steady, 2200 kcals/day, but my exercise level varies throughout the week. My biggest exercise days are about 3800 kcals burned, while my off day(s) I burn barely over my BMR (~2000 kcals).

What you shouldn't do, and I harped on this earlier, is eat any really sugary items. My calories have not changed but since we've had some recent changes in my household I've been eating more sugars. I can entirely attribute 5 pounds of weight gain to that dietary change. Starting tomorrow I'll be reducing my sugar intake to 20 grams or less per day. I expect to see a drop. It was an interesting experiment but not one I'd like to repeat any time soon. Smile

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 518

Posted: 24 May 2010, 04:03
Thanks wintersmith!
I am not eating any simple sugar (dont want to go on a binge), what you said is feasible for me.

I will try to organize my carbs in a way that I get more after a workout with weights and see what happens.
Do NOT quit! The universe always bows to persistence - Tom Venuto

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

Posted: 24 May 2010, 09:05
I eat more on days I lift. I feel hungrier those days. I eat the least on a day without exercise. I think what makes you comfortable is best. I'm a big believer that hunger means you need to eat.
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Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 162

Posted: 25 May 2010, 14:48
Think about what type of energy sources your body uses when weightlifiting and cardio. Your body uses carbs/glycogen for cardio workouts. You body needs protein and calcium for weightlifting. So before your weightlifting days, eat calcium-enriched foods and protien. Good sources are milk, Feta cheese, and certain beans. on your cardio, figure out how much carbs your body utilizes (you can find out with a VO2 max test). However, good carbs before cardio are whole grains. I hope this make sense.

PS. if you do any anaerobic work, you will need some healthy fats.
- Elizabeth
"Living a healthy lifestyle will only deprive you of poor health, lethargy, and fat." -Jill Johnson

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 518

Posted: 27 May 2010, 08:18

Thanks, I will keep that in mind, it is easy to apply.
Do NOT quit! The universe always bows to persistence - Tom Venuto

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