Proper nutrition is vital for optimising progress at the gym. Without adequate nutrition, not only does your body lack the energy it needs to perform at its best, it is unable to effectively recover after each session. I caught up with Personal Trainer, Marcello Alexander to discuss the importance of fuelling your body with the right foods to maximise training results.
Not only is Marcello is a brilliant Personal Trainer, he prides himself in staying up to date with the most effective nutrition strategies to optimize fitness results. Marcello understands that every individual is unique and requires a tailored program specific to their own body and goals. Following are a few snippets from our conversation.
What is the best pre, during and post nutrition strategy to maximize muscle hypertrophy?
“This question is extremely multifaceted. The best nutrition strategy depends on a multitude of factors including an individual’s biochemistry, body type, gender, training intensity, exercise frequency and overall goals.
I recommend my clients consume protein and carbohydrates before, during and after exercise to facilitate maximal hypertrophy gains. Personally, I advocate that my clients choose natural whole foods to nourish their bodies. The amount of carbohydrates and protein I advise varies depending on factors such as age, gender and body composition.”
What nutrition strategy do you use for yourself to optimize muscle growth?
“I generally choose natural, minimally processed foods to fuel my body. Despite this, I am a huge advocate of consuming vitargo before and after training. Vitargo is a form of carbohydrate which is absorbed into the muscles faster than any other type of carbohydrate.
By refuelling your muscles with carbohydrates immediately after you train, you will take advantage of the bodies ‘anabolic window’. This is the time when your body will rapidly absorb nutrients to replenish depleted energy stores. This helps to optimize muscle growth. Likewise, consuming vitargo pre training helps to give my body instant energy to enhance my performance.
Likewise, I consume dates during training. This is because they provide a steady stream of glucose to my muscles to help maximise my performance. In addition to this, I consume lean meats such as fish, turkey and chicken and carbohydrates such as brown rice and sweet potato before and after I train. I eat to how I feel. I don’t track calories.”
In your opinion, is it possible to gain muscle and shed fat at the same time?
“When it comes to nutrition, everyone has a different opinion. Through my own education and experience, I would say that although it is possible, it is not ideal to try and gain muscle and loose fat at the same time. This is because the muscle increase and subsequent fat loss you achieve will be to a lesser degree than if you focused solely on one or the other. I recommend first focusing on gaining muscle and then shredding.”
Although it is possible to obtain good health and physique without supplementation, are there any supplements you feel are vital to those wishing to build muscle?
“In my opinion, you don’t need supplements. Supplements are not essential. You don’t need vitargo, you don’t need protein powder. They are what the name implies; a supplement to be used in addition to good training and nutrition. In addition, the fitness industry places a huge emphasis on macronutrients, but it is also important to ensure you are getting enough micronutrients in your diet. I supplement with vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin D and fish oil as I believe my current diet doesn’t provide me with enough of these. It is important to consult with a doctor or dietitian when adding supplements into your diet to see whether they are necessary for you.”
If you could give readers one piece of advice to master their nutrition strategy, what would it be?
“My best piece of advice would be to try different food types, timings and strategies and see what works best for your body, your lifestyle and your goals. Everyone is so different. What works for one person might not work for another. If you are serious about getting into shape, we can work together to create an individualized program to help you achieve your goals.”
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