Nutrition and exercise are two of the most important factors for your overall health. Hence, the two factors affect each other. Proper nutrition can help fuel your exercise and also help your body recover and adapt. However, we are usually torn between what to eat before and after exercising.
Truth is, there are a variety of options and opinions as to what you should eat before, during and after your workouts. The reality however is that your body is your vehicle, so you’ve got to keep your engine;your heart, running while you work out.
That means fueling up with the right foods before your workout, hydrating with the right fluids throughout your regimen, and eating the right amounts at the right times.
The next time you want to eat before working out, keep things simple by grabbing a quick snack about an hour before you exercise.
Here are some of the foods you should not eat before working out:
- Sugar- free candies
We have come to believe that anything sugar free is ultimately safe for pre-workout. But that is not the case with sugar-free candies. This is because, to make up for the absence of sugar, other additives which our stomachs might not necessarily agree with are included.
Majority of these sugar free foods contain sugar alcohol which can result in gastrointestinal distress. And gastrointestinal distress is really not what you want before or during a workout..
By now, you should already know that with alcohol comes dehydration. And as you lose water during your workouts from all the sweat streaming down your body, it is pertinent you save that your cup of red wine for later. Instead of wine, you should probably chug some water. And if course, exercising under the influence of alcohol is not even so healthy. Before you cause great harm to your body.
- Fruit juice
Chugging a big glass of any of your favorite fruit juice might seem like an ideal way to kick start your morning. However, it is not applicable to the morning you want to go for a run or go to your fitness class. This is why.
Fruit juice, minus the fiber from the fruit, is liquid fructose. It can inundate the liver, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar, hence leading to a blood-sugar crash. Also, the liquid fructose will reach your large and small intestines really fast, resulting in an influx of water in the colon and fermentation, which could cause bloating or diarrhea.
You might want to reap the benefits from drinking caffeine before your workout, however, soda is one of the worse ways to get your energy fix. These carbonated beverages contain gas bubbles, which can fill you up. And of everything you want to feel during workout, feeling full is not one of them. This is because, it might cause you to not hydrate properly with your regular water,or sports drinks if you need them.
- Junk food
Junk food makes you feel crappy whenever you eat them. Whether it’s pizza or greasy foods. Which is why eating them before workout is totally a bad idea.There is simply no reason to load up on fat, especially saturated one right before you hit the gym. If you load up on fat before workout, it could slow your digestion, and thus, result in bloating and discomfort. Protein and carbs are the perfect macro-nutrients your body needs before work out.
If you’re a fan of morning workouts, avoid eating your favorite yogurt breakfast beforehand. Even though it’s a healthy way to start the day, it’s best to wait until after your sweat sesh to get your fix: Like milk and cheese, it contains lactose, which could cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea
Having looked at the food to avoid before working out, it is imperative we look at foods to eat after workout:
- Raw vegetables
Excluding raw vegetables after a workout may appear confusing to you because, they usually are a great choice. But it’s not the nutritional value that is the problem the problem is, raw veggies fill your body up at a time your body might be needing serious replenishing. After your serious workout routine, your body requires protein, calories and high quality carbohydrates.When you fill up on raw veggies instead,it takes up a lot of volume in your stomach, leaving you extremely full, hence, you will be missing out on getting the required amount of nutrients you need after workout.
- Low carb meals
While protein is widely recognized as a post-workout essential, did you also know that carbohydrates are a vital part of post-workout recovery and nourishment? The reason being, Amy explains: “Your body taps into its glycogen stores during exercise and eating carbohydrates in your post-workout meal helps to restore them.”
You might not realize that fruits are an incredibly good source of carbohydrate, and Amy suggests strawberries, bananas, blueberries and kiwi are among some of her favourites for a post-workout refuel.
She also recommends opting for ‘smart carbohydrates’ such as whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, rather than refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta or flour products. “This will ensure you have sustained energy throughout your day,” the nutritional expert advises.
- Fried eggs
Eggs are a wonderful way to get your protein after a workout—as long as you eat them raw or hard-boiled. If you hit a diner or greasy spoon after your workout, don’t order your eggs over-easy or sunny-side-up. You’re guaranteed to get them drenched in saturated fats—something you want to keep out of your diet right after a big sweat session.
- Eating nothing
You might not exactly feel very hungry after exercising, but it is important you do not skip your post-workout meal. It is however important to nourish your body after exercise and it’s the ideal time to eat. Your body needs replenishment after all the hard work it has done, so it’s really important not to skip your meal after you work out.
- High Fiber foods
Avoid high fiber foods at all cost. They could cause cramping and bloating. Instead, find what works with your body.