Eating the right foods at the right time can not only help you to maximize your workouts but can also help you to lose more calories and still have you feeling super energized throughout your exercise session.
Importance of eating right before your exercise workout:
During exercise your body uses stored carbohydrate to derive energy for the workout. In cases of aerobic exercises such as swimming, cycling or jogging, or anaerobic exercise such as weight lifting, pushups or sits ups, the body uses stored carbohydrates known as glycogen. When the body has used up all the carbohydrates, it then uses stored fat to burn as fuel. If you practice exercising regularly on an empty stomach, you lose more muscle mass than you build because in case of low carbohydrates and fats, your body draws its energy source from the proteins in the muscle mass. This results in subdued energy during your workout, slower metabolism which leads to less rapid weight loss and quicker exhaustion.
Foods to eat before workouts:
The best power- up diets includes carbohydrates and a little protein. The key aspect to remember is to eat foods that are a mix of complex and simple carbohydrates and proteins that are low fiber and are easy on the stomach. Examples are:
- Bananas: These are high in potassium and give an extra dash of energy for your long run or your intense training. The plus point here is that they are super easy to digest.
- Yogurt with some nuts: Starting off your training with a little yoghurt and a handful of nuts is a smart way to gear up for your heated training ahead. Yogurt is an energy booster and together with some nuts which provide fat and insulin to your body, they both are the perfect mix of a potent snack before workout.
- Eggs: Eggs are protein rich little white marbles of nature. They help in muscle growth and recovery and provide nutrients needed to build up muscle mass. Eating boiled eggs or cooking up a veggie omelet will instantly energize you for your activity ahead.
- Whole wheat toast or lightly grilled chicken: Where whole wheat toast has all the essential carbohydrates, lightly grilled chicken has both the components of lean protein and carbohydrates that make it a healthy food to snack on before your workout.
- Water: Drinking plenty of water at least 1 or two hours before strenuous exercise will contribute greatly towards keeping you well hydrated and agile during your workout.
Importance of eating after exercise:
Eating right after exercise helps to replenish muscles, restore their power, heal muscle injury, keep the metabolism running and help regain lost strength. If you don’t restore the depleted levels of stored carbohydrates in your muscles, you will not be able to give your full potential in your next workout.
Foods to eat after workouts:
Research has shown that eating protein and carbohydrates right after exercise will aid you to recover from your exercise and will also help in muscle growth and repair. These foods are:
- Chocolate milk: Recent research has pinpointed towards the fact that chocolate milk is just about perfect and the best fluid to replenish muscles as it contains essential sugars, carbohydrates, calcium and protein which is needed right after exercise. Moreover it effectively restores the water content in the body.
- Fruit smoothie: Your post-workout smoothie will ideally contain bananas, strawberries, apples, mangoes or grapes. Adding a dash of yoghurt and 1 tablespoon of honey will provide you the vital protein and sugars that your body needs to recover from physical activity.
- Peanut butter sandwich with honey or jam: This is a healthy option for providing complex carbohydrates and fats after exercise and a filling one too. You will easily feel full after eating this sandwich.
- Salmon: A thoroughly healthy source of protein; baked or grilled salmon makes up for a great post workout snack.
It is best to plan your eating schedule way ahead of your exercise to keep your body well hydrated and perfectly strong before, during and after exercise. Remember the outcome of your workouts is greatly dependent upon your diet so the more you focus on eating the right foods at the right time, the better fitness levels you will be able to achieve.