“The meals around your workouts have a major role to play in the effectiveness and results of your workouts”
Whether you are jogging, running, lifting weights or swimming laps, yet not achieving the outcome you have been yearning for. No matter the fitness routine, one needs to get the right nutrients into the body to get the desired results. To get started, pre-workout meals can boost your workout performance, while post-workout meals help refuel your body following intense training sessions.
Although most of us pay heed to what we eat, one common mistake we make is; not timing it right. Here is a complete guide to help you understand pre and post-workout meals and how to time them for optimal results.
It is necessary to quench your hunger, before you hit the gym and lift those weights. The goal of pre-workout nutrition is to keep body at peak strength and provide energy to muscles and mind throughout your time at the gym. The best pre-workout snack is a food that raises your blood sugars slowly. These are slow digesting, therefore the sugars from the foods are released very slowly into bloodstream, thus body releases small amounts of insulin at a time.
Complex carbohydrate foods and most fruits make up the basis of pre-workout nutrition. Timing it right is equally important! You should have it at least 30 minutes to an hour before starting your workout so that the food has time to settle. If eating just before working out, the body will not have time to digest the food and it lies in the stomach thus causing bloating.
Here are some slow-digesting foods with a low glycemic index, eaten as pre-workout meals.
- Peanut butter and banana or a PBJ(Peanut Butter Jelly) sandwich
- Avocado egg toast
- Greek yoghurt with berries
- Apple and peanut/almond butter
- A handful of nuts and raisins or A trail mix
- Oatmeal with low-fat milk and fruit
One should drink lots of water to keep the body hydrated during and after the workout, as the water and minerals are lost from the body with sweat. It is important to refuel and recover with meals that combine the right balance of protein and carbohydrates after exercise. For best results, post-workout meals should preferably be eaten as soon as possible after the workout or within a maximum of an hour. An ideal post-workout meal should contain carbohydrates – to replenish glycogen stores in the muscles – and protein, to regenerate the muscles and provide them with the building material to grow.
Post-workout meals, similar to pre-workout meals, need protein and carbs. Here are some ideas that can be included in the post-workout meals.
- Post-workout smoothie made with low-fat milk and fruit
- Low-fat chocolate milk
- Grilled chicken with sauteed vegetables
- Whole-grain wrap with veggies
- Yoghurt with berries
- Tuna salad
- Tofu, Eggs, Cottage cheese
Lastly, stay away from rich, greasy foods. Fat takes your body longer to digest, which can lead to an upset stomach. For some people, lots of fibre or protein doesn’t go with exercise. Everybody is different, so pay attention to what works for you. Happy workout!