To benefit from any workout plan to the fullest, it is imperative to have a suitable diet plan, complementing the workout sessions. For HIIT, it is essential to have a diet that is rich in proteins and has sufficient carbs. This ensures that you have enough energy to exercise intermittently without giving in to fatigue. Along with that, an adequate amount of water is also essential for the success of a HIIT workout.
HIIT workouts involve short yet extensive workout sessions, which is why it is very important for the pre-workout diet to be high in energy. The human body works all day long and is busy in the processes of muscle-building and repair.
Pre-workout nutrition refers to the diet that you should take about 4 hours before the workout session. If the pre-workout nutrition is planned strategically, it gives the body ample time and energy to recover and make new muscles.
About 4 hours prior to your workout, it is important to take in sufficient amounts of carbohydrates and proteins. Carbs are the body’s major source of energy and they give the body that ultimate fuel which is needed to drive a workout. Proteins, on the other hand, are coupled with carbs for repair and muscle building.
The carb intake should be moderate enough to not overload the body but energize it enough for the workout. Some good pre-workout food options include:
• Dried fruit such as almonds or cashew nuts
• Plain Yoghurt (Preferably, a blend of yoghurt, fruits and some veggies in form of a smoothie)
• Protein powder and Whole wheat toast
• A banana and some strawberries or a smoothie
These meals are a great way to energize the body for the workout by giving it the extra energy it requires. Just an hour or so before the actual workout, the body is in need of a ‘boost’ of energy. This comes from carbohydrates so the meal plan immediately before the workout needs to be rich in carbohydrates. Some good pre-workout meal options include:
• A bowl of fruit
• A nut energy bar
• Peanut butter toast
Then, just half an hour before the workout, take in a scoop of whey protein. This is important to reduce the recovery time for the body in case of muscle fatigue or any energy loss. Proteins are the ultimate muscle building sources of the body and when the body needs repair, they are at the front.
Post Workout Nutrition
Likewise, after you are done with such an intense workout, it is important to make up for what the body has lost. Firstly, the body has lost its glycogen reserve, which is the form in which glucose is stored in the body. Secondly, during the workout process, the muscles are also broken down. The main nutrient required for their repair is protein.
As such, the post workout diet plan should have more proteins. Immediately after a HIIT workout session, it is not possible to fix yourself a proper meal so you can go for quick fixes that have high protein content. Some options include:
• A Protein shake
• A slice of white bread
• Soy milk and 2 spoons of jelly
These foods are to be taken in before the actual meal for the day or night. You can take this half an hour after the workout. The proper meal after a HIIT workout should be rich in carbs and proteins both, since both are needed. Carbohydrates are needed for glucose, a part of which will be stored as glycogen in the liver again.
On the other hand, proteins are needed for repair of worn out muscles. It has been seen thorough research that the best combination of proteins and carbs is in a 1:3 ratio. After you have finished you session, make sure that you have a proper meal in the 2 hours following your workout session.
Proteins need to be included since they are involved in building up muscles. The amino acids present in your diet are the building blocks used to repair damaged muscle cells. Different cells in the body are involved in the process of using amino acids to make new muscle fibers or to damage the ones that have been severed during intense workouts.
Proteins present in milk products are quite beneficial for the muscle health so snacks for HIIT diet plan are normally scoops of whey protein or casein protein.
• Rice with veggies and chicken
• Pasta and salad (add meat sauce for taste)
• A cup of mixed green salad and some salmon
• A cup of green beans and salmon
It is also important to incorporate some healthy fats into your post-workout meal. This is because fats aid in reducing inflammation that often occurs as a result of high intensity workouts. Inflammation, if it prevails, can hinder the exercising process for subsequent days so it is essential to deal with it from day one.
Along with food, it is important to make up for the water lost during the workout session. Keep drinking water throughout the day, till you go to bed. When you exercise, a lot of water is lost in the form of sweat. This needs to be replaced since a hydrated body sees quicker results in terms of exercise.