We all know that eating right is important for our health. But when it comes to working out, what you eat before and after your exercise can make a big difference in the results.
Eating the wrong kinds of foods can leave you feeling sluggish and tired while the right ones can help give you the energy boost and muscle recovery you need to maximize your performance. Don’t worry — we’re here to help! Let’s take a look at what kind of food will give you that extra boost before and after a workout.
The Best Pre-Workout Meal
When it comes to pre-workout meals, think about light, easy to digest foods that will provide your body with enough energy to get through your workout without weighing you down. Try eating 2-3 hours before your workout so your body has some time to digest properly.
A great option is a protein shake or smoothie made with banana, spinach or kale, almond milk, and protein powder like whey or hemp. This combination of carbs, protein, and healthy fats provides sustained energy without making you feel bloated or weighed down. Light on the stomach, easy to digest, and packed with energy-boosting nutrients? We'll take it!
Another great option is an oatmeal bowl topped with fruit like berries or banana slices. The complex carbs from the oatmeal provide lasting energy while the fruit adds sweetness and natural sugars for an extra boost.
For an even more simple snack, a banana with some nut or seed butter should do the trick!
The Best Post-Workout Meal
After a good workout, your post-training meal should focus on repairing your muscles as well as replenishing glycogen stores (the form of carbohydrates stored in muscle cells). Try to eat within two hours of finishing your workout to ensure that your muscles get enough fuel while they are still in repair mode.
Think lean proteins like chicken breast or fish paired with complex carbohydrates such as quinoa or sweet potatoes. Adding some healthy fats like avocado or nuts are also beneficial as they can help increase absorption of key nutrients needed for proper recovery.
If you're like me and you aren't ready to eat a full meal after your workout, try a quick snack of Greek yogurt with berries, nuts and chia seeds – this packs both protein and carbs! Who doesn't love a twofer?
No matter what type of exercises you are doing – HIIT, running, weight lifting – fueling up before and after your workouts is can make all the difference when it comes to improved performance, as well as, better results in terms of strength gain and fat loss.
Eating the right kind of food before exercising can give you an extra push to power through those last few reps while eating nutritious meals afterwards helps speed up recovery time so that you’re ready for your next workout session sooner rather than later!
So stock up on those fruits, veggies, and protein sources, and if you know you'll busy (or lazy) before and after workouts, meal prep ahead of time. You’ll thank yourself later!