Best Foods To Eat Before And After Workout
The key to getting and maintaining an amazing body after exercise is by combining your regular exercise with healthy foods and also eating at the right time. Feeding your body before and after every workout is essential for burning calories, staying energized, building lean muscle, losing weight, and speeding up recovery.
Here is why you need to eat before you work out
When you exercise on an empty stomach, you’re not giving yourself the energy level it needs to power through an intense training session. More-so, research has shown that you can actually cause muscle loss if you regularly work out on an empty stomach. This is because, when you’re hungry, your body goes into survival mode and it draws protein from the muscles instead of the kidney and liver. When this happens, your muscle mass begins to drop and ultimately slows down your metabolism rate which is not good for mostly those on a weight loss program. However, if your exercise is just a brisk walk or light jog; an empty stomach is fine; just drink a glass of water before heading out the door. For more intense exercise, eat some easy-to-digest carbs.
Here are the best foods you can eat within an hour before your workout:
- Bananas: Bananas are known as nature’s Power-Bar. They are loaded with digestible carbohydrate as well as potassium which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function. The body doesn’t store potassium for very long, so an average banana is highly recommended in the morning before you workout, it will help keep your nutrient levels high. After eating your bananas, wait for 30 minutes and then hit the gym.
- Oatmeal moderately with berries.
- Apple and walnuts moderately.
- Multi-grain crackers moderately as well.
- Sweet potato with steamed or salted broccoli in olive oil (1 cup).
- A slice of toasted bread.
- A cup of fruit cocktail washed down with a glass of water.
The best pre-workout foods should contain some form of complex carbohydrate and a protein to keep you energized during the workout so you down feel pale or worn-out.
On the other hand, this is why you need to eat after a workout.
Of course, you know how important it is to refresh yourself with the right food after a tedious exercise. It helps your muscles grow faster and recover quickly. During exercise, your body taps into the nutrients stored in your muscles known as glycogen for energy. Your muscles are therefore depleted of their glycogen stores and broken down. Eating (or drinking) something that combines protein and carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour after your workout refills energy stores, builds and repairs your muscles that were broken down, and helps keep your metabolism burning strong and the sooner you start refueling, the better off you’ll be.
Here are some foods to eat after your training sessions to help speed up recovery:
- Protein: It doesn’t matter the source of protein; whether egg, milk, beans, meat etc. Ensure the foods are not processed but organic to enable excellent protein source.
- Drink a Shake: Within 60 to 90 minutes after your exercise, drink a shake with milk, vitamins or water, followed by a real meal of protein and starchy carbohydrates within 90 minutes.
- Grains: Multi-grain bread (2 slices) with raw peanut butter, brown rice or find other sources of grain that soothe your taste.
- Try different things: Take an amino acid supplement or any fruit within reach if you don’t have your supplement handy. It is important to know your body when it comes to creating a personalized fueling strategy. Try many food types ranging from protein, Carb, Vitamin, etc. Regardless of what you choose for your workout nutrition plan, remember that the amount of food should be proportional to take into account other calories that you’re consuming throughout the day so that your workout meals don’t unknowingly drive you into a caloric excess thus working against any weight loss efforts.