In this episode of Q&A with Adee Cazayoux, founder of Working Against Gravity, Adee answers more specific nutritional questions about the importance of pre- and post-workout nutrition, hydration and accuracy of counting macros.
Q: How important is my pre and post workout nutrition?
A: Your pre and post workout nutrition definitely can give you an edge in the gym. It can help you perform better in your training, give you an extra boost in competition and can help you manage your weight in terms of your weight classes. However, I do want to make one important note. Regardless of your pre and post workout nutrition, if you're not already eating a well-balanced diet that consists of whole, nutrient-dense foods, a variety of protein sources and healthy fats, then that's where you want to start. Because that's where you're going to get the biggest bang for your buck in terms of increased performance in the gym and in competition.
Q: Is it important to stay hydrated?
A: Hydration is super important! But let's put the science aside for a second and talk about the
fact that the majority of your body is made up of water. Think about your personal experiences. When you're well hydrated you’re feeling better than those days where you're sweating all day and haven't had a drink of water. When you’re not hydrated, you can feel your muscles ache differently, your urine is more yellow to brown color and your performance in the gym is suffering. We all know that staying well hydrated is going to make you feel better and function a lot better. Some of the benefits of hydration include: it can cleanse you from the inside and out, it's great for your skin, it can help curb hunger and it can help shuttle water-soluble nutrients in your body and keep you healthy.
Q: Will I see success estimating my macros?
A: Tracking your food or being accountable for your nutrition is going to be on a sliding scale. At one end of the scale you're going to weigh and measure absolutely every single thing you eat, you're going to track it using some type of tracking app, or writing it down on a piece of paper. And on the other end of the scale is going to be not tracking anything at all. And then a little bit in from there maybe you're using your hands to estimate your food size portions or you're going to just eyeball it and just guess what it is that you're eating. Can you make progress anywhere in between? It really does depend on the individual, which is going to be an answer to most questions in nutrition. However, I will tell you that the quickest, most optimal progress is going to be closer to the strict side of the scale, if you're focusing on weight loss, body composition changes and performance in the gym. That doesn't mean that's going to be the most optimal or the best type of progress in terms of your lifestyle or how you deal psychologically with being that precise with your food intake. So you're going to have to find what works for you.
Can you still make progress if you're just estimating and tracking loosely? Of course! Some progress is better than no progress at all. So you just have to work with yourself and figure out what your goals are and how much flexibility or precision you can have in your nutrition, based on your goals. So let me give you a couple examples. One goal that might allow you to have more flexibility is if I just want to lose 20 pounds over the next year. That's a lot of time to lose 20 pounds so you're probably going to be able to eat out at restaurants a little more frequently, be a little bit more lenient, but you still want to maintain some level of accountability in your nutrition. On the other hand, if I need to make weight for a weightlifting meet four weeks from now, then I’m going to need a lot more precision and a lot less flexibility. You're going to have to have much more control over the food that you're putting into your body, sodium levels, you're not going to be able to eat out at restaurants as much or social events like drinking and weddings with lots of cake and things. I mean you can still go, but indulging in food is just not going to be an option in those cases. So think about your goals and think about how much flexibility and precision it's going to require to achieve them in the timeframe that you're looking for.