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If the weights ever feel heavy after your warmup sets or you find yourself coming out of the gate too hard during the would you’re not alone. Rather than crumple into a pile of gasps and sweat maybe you should consider fueling up DURING your workout.

We all know how important fuel is to building muscle. The right nutrition can heavily impact your path towards your goals negatively or positively. In this article, we’ll talk about the right way to approach your workout nutrition, depending on your fitness goals.

The body needs carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in order to function. The body will use whatever fuel is available to keep functioning and get you through your workouts. As we talk about what to sip on during your workout, your goals on how and what you want your body to use as fuel is important. Before we dive into some ideas to help you towards your goals, be sure you’re getting your nutrition on track overall otherwise getting into the specifics won’t really help you. Getting your nutrition right around your workouts has to be your first priority. If you’re not already eating well around your workouts, focus on the basics first before incorporating in workout nutrition.

If performance or building muscle is your priority this one is for you. In order to build muscle, your body needs enough calories for all of its normal daily functions and then some. For those interested in building muscle, incorporating carbohydrates and protein during your workouts will ensure your body isn’t breaking down your valuable muscle to keep your workouts fueled. Powders that are easily digestible will be easiest to take during your training sessions. There are many supplements out there with simple carbohydrates and protein. For protein sources we suggest collagen powder, it’s a clean source of amino acids with no extra additives. Pair this with an easily digested carbohydrate source such Endurance Tap. A good rule of thumb is 30 grams of carbs per hour while strength training and 5-10 grams of protein. Do your homework, stick to clean ingredients and avoid anything you can’t understand. If it sounds like a chemical it probably is.

If your primary goal is to lose fat and hopefully maintain the muscle mass you’ve got, you want your primary fuel source to come from your fat stores. Taking collagen helps your body use those easily digested proteins for fuel before breaking down your muscles. Fat is hard to utilize during your workouts so your body will have a tendency to try to break down what’s readily available, which in this case are your muscles.

Please don’t try to guzzle a shake before you jump into Fran or another high-intensity metcon that will have you running to the bathroom. You may become extremely nauseous since the body is trying to push fresh blood flow to your working muscles and can’t effectively digest at the same time. Instead, sip on your shake during your power lifts and Olympic lifts then finish it off AFTER the metcon. You’ll thank me later.

Above all, always sip on water throughout your workouts and get real about the kind of work you’re doing. Giving your body what it needs to perform is essential to your goals. Be smart and do what’s right for you!

Learn more about how nutrition can help you reach your goals by booking a free 15-minute consultation with our in-house nutrition coach, Jenna Lessner.

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