Mostly we are not sure about what to eat and what not eat before and after workout, knowing when and what to eat can make a difference in your workouts. Proper nutrition and hydration are two crucial factors that help one to get the best of the workout. Most of the energy you got from dinner the previous night is used up by morning, and your blood sugar might be low. If you don’t eat, you might feel sluggish or lightheaded when you workout.
The best thing to eat before any form of exercise for energy and endurance is carbohydrate which your muscles rely on; Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred fuel source.
Good pre-workout food choices include: Foods like whole wheat toast with sliced banana & cinnamon; Yoghurt, Slice of toast with jam or honey, Oatmeal with fresh fruits, Healthy cereal with low fat milk, sweet potatoes, if you wish to have fruits and veggies then juice those, fruits like banana, apples for quick energy. This will provide a couple hours for carbs to get digested and go to work, ensuring blood sugar levels are up and glycogen levels are full prior to training.
Don’t forget to drink fluids. One needs adequate fluids before, during and after exercise to help prevent dehydration. To stay well-hydrated for exercise, the “American College of Sports Medicine” recommends that one needs to:
- Drink roughly 2 to 3 cups of water during the two to three hours before your workout.
- Drink about 1/2 to 1 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout.
- Drink roughly 2 to 3 cups of water after your workout for every pound (0.5 kilogram) of weight you lose during the workout.
During your workout to boost your energy during endurance activities, recent research suggests that carbohydrate blends (foods containing fructose and glucose) may be superior. But before you reach for a sports drink, consider Honey: it naturally has equal parts fructose and glucose, but it also contains a handful of antioxidants and vitamins. So honey mixed with water can be a natural sports drink.
After any workout, the muscles are repairing and recovering to replace their glycogen stores, it’s important to help that process along by supplying the body not only with carbohydrates, but also with protein within two hours of your exercise session if possible.
Good post-workout food choices include: A veggie packed omelet, Chocolate milk, Yoghurt, Cheddar Cheese with Grainy bread, Cow’s milk, Peanut butter sandwich, Hummus and Spinach Sandwich, dry fruits/nuts, fruit salads and Grilled chicken with veggies, pasta with meat balls, chicken breasts with brown rice, fish, lamb, prawns, legumes (if you’re working out in evening).
Usually it’s advised to eat your carbs before an hour of your workout and have a carb plus protein meal within two hours of your workout. When it comes to eating and workout, every individual is different, so paying attention to how you feel and by keeping a record to monitor how your body reacts to the meals and snacks you can tweak your diet for optimal performance.
Recommendation: Before going in for any above mentioned intake please make sure you consult a Nutritionist/Dietician who will guide you what is appropriate for you and your body.
Mr. Aliakbar Maimoon is a Health Coach and a Business Psychologist, who has graduated from University of East London, (UK) and also has several other International Certification such as Meta-Health Practitioner, EFT Practitioner, Access Consciousness Bars Practitioner, Access Consciousness Body Process Practitioner, Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner, Life and Executive Coach. He has extensive experience in the area of Stress Management, Weight Loss, Psychological issues like OCD, Depression, Anxiety disorders, Eating disorders, Addictions, Career Counseling and Psychological counseling etc.