For hardcore athletes, time may be of the essence when it comes to nutrients. But for the average person looking to lose a little weight or become healthier, the rule of thumb is to focus on what to eat rather than when. Focus on a balanced diet of lean proteins, healthy carbohydrates and fats. Quality and quantity will be the focus based off your goals.
For those early morning workouts, some folks like to workout fasted because not enough time to eat or they are not hungry. Some Believe working out fasted burns more fat. While it is true that working out on an empty stomach may shift the fuel source to primarily fatty acids this does not translate into fat loss. If you are working out 60 minutes or longer or have an intense workout planned, it is encouraged to eat a carbohydrate for energy and protein for sustainability 1-2 hours before your workout. If you do not have time, eat a piece of fruit or drink chocolate milk. You may find you will feel better and have the energy to increase intensity.
For those whose goals include gaining extreme muscle mass or strength, or training extensively for 60 minutes or more, nutrient timing may be beneficial. Assuring your body has the proper fuel for endurance. There are many different methods surrounding Carbohydrate intake called
Carbohydrate Periodization. There is Fasted Training, Recover low, sleep low – train low, and Twice-a-day training. For more information and guidance on Carbohydrate Periodization I recommend you seek consul from a sports dietitian
Nutrient timing is important but maybe not as important as once thought. As the level of competition, skill level, and workouts increase, so may the importance of nutrient timing. For most active and healthy individuals trying to lose, maintain, or gain weight, a consistent, healthy diet with sufficient carbohydrates, protein, and fat is more important than the timing of the workout and meal. The timing of meals becomes more important when an individual’s goal includes extreme muscle or strength gains, extreme fat loss in advanced exercisers, and continuous and exhaustive training lasting over 60 minutes or more.