A dietitian once compared the human body with a sports car. He wasn’t far from the truth. A sports car wouldn’t function optimally with unleaded gas, same way our body would not function optimally without food. It’s unhealthy enough skipping a meal, especially breakfast. Going for work outs on an empty stomach is way worse. You should not work out unfueled as it affects results and could cause fatigue.
Knowing this, it’s important to know what kind of food is ideal and what kind isn’t before and even after work out. You don’t want to undo all the work you put into working out.
Before work out, it is ideal that you go for foods that are low in fiber and fat as they could slow your digestion down, causing your gastro-intestinal system to get upset while you work out. You should also eat foods with moderate protein contents, not so high and not so low. Carbs are the most important nutrients to have in your pre-workout meal. Carbs provide energy and fuel for the physical challenge, including your brain. Keep in mind that you should not go working out almost immediately after a meal, especially when the meal isn’t as light. Give your food substantial time to digest properly to prevent it from staying stuck in your stomach.
After your work out session, what you eat is also as important. It’s a time to refuel after exercising so that your body is able to recover and have stronger, bigger muscles built.
We do not mean supplements, no, good meals of snacks that you could enjoy while eating away not only for how delicious they are, but because you know they’re going to contribute to the overall results you get from your fitness routine.
What to eat before work out
If you do not eat before a work out session, chances are you’ll get lightheaded, dizzy and nauseous. You’ll also be exposed to the risk of getting yourself injured. Your performance and energy levels could also be affected and results sabotaged.
Realistically speaking, not everybody would always find the time to grab a snack before heading to the gym or working out at home. It is excused that you work out occasionally on an empty stomach (not always), but please desist if you have blood sugar issues. So if you don’t feel you can sit down to have something, it’s fine. However, it’s only ideal that you eat up before working out as it improves your performance and results.
Below are a few ways to do it right :
You want to stay hydrated before you head to a gym. It’s unthinkable to work out dehydrated. You know how hydrated (or dehydrated) you are from how dark or light your urine is once you come awake. If your urine is dark, then your body is definitely dehydrated. Light coloured urine means you’re good (hydrated much). Three hours to exercising, try taking at least two glasses of water and then an extra cup just a few minutes before you begin exercising. Dehydration will cause you to have little energy as your body tends to conserve energy when you’re dehydrated, leading to fatigue. You could also experience spasms or cramps. During work out, also keep drinking water. Ideally intervals of thirty minutes. It’s important you keep doing this especially if you’re sweating or training in an environment that is heated. We’re not saying this is a fixed method, everybody could find what works for them and tryptophan to stick with it to avoid dehydration.
Banana with peanut butter and honey
Bananas are a great pre-workout meal as they contain lots of potassium and carbs which help to enhance function of the muscle and the nerve. To make it even better, you could add some peanut butter as a topping, any other nut is good though. If you’re extra adventurous and you would love to go further, add some honey over it. This combo causes a slow and steady glucose release which is goodnews for the ones who engage in endurance workouts.
Oats are already an ideal breakfast meal so this should not be a problem for the ones who work out first thing in the morning. You also could have it as lunch before your evening work out, just as long as you’re having it as a pre-workout meal.
Smoothies are the most comfortable pre-workout meal as they take less time to make and eat, you could literally have them on your way to the gym if you’re in such a hurry. It’s also fun as you get to decide what you would love to blend in and you could literally have lots of different kinds of smoothie on different work out days. You could add a cup of greek yoghurt to the mix to improve its consistency. A granola to the mixture would be perfect too.
What to eat after work out
Grilled Chicken and Mixed Vegetables
Since your body would be recovering, you would need a meal that is filled with plenty nutrients. A chicken has lean proteins and carbohydrates which would get you filled up without the bloated feeling. Some veggies in olive oil added to the dish would help keep you in shape too.
According to the latest research, chocolate milk is the new most popular post-workout snack. It’s gained more popularity than even sports drinks and water. This milk has close to everything you need in a glass, remember in recovery mode you need as much nutrients as possible? This is what makes the chocolate milk so special. It contains sugar, sodium, calcium, protein, carbs and a great water content. These nutrients will help replace lost fluids, help the recovery of the muscles and help retain energy and recover fast.
Salmon with Sweet Potato
It’s already common news that salmon has a great protein content. It also has bioactive peptides. These peptides are protein molecules which help in supporting the joints, reducing inflammation and regulating insulin levels. The sweet potatoes added to the list supply complex carbs which boosts levels of glycogen that has been depleted after exercising.
Yes, it’s important to stay hydrated before a work out session. You should know too that post-workout hydration is also as important. This is because you would have lost a lot of fluids sweating that you would need to replenish so you don’t get dehydrated. Take what you feel is the right amount of water for the system after working out but ideally, you should take sixteen ounces of water for every pound lost.