What you eat before and after a workout goes a long way to determine your performance and the quality of your workouts. However, the truth is that it can be challenging trying to figure out what to eat before and after a workout. So, I’ve made it easier for you by putting together a quick guide to help you figure out what to eat before and after a workout. Let’s dive in!
What To Eat Before A Workout
Many people tend to work out on an empty stomach, while this isn’t exactly bad (especially if it works for you or if you don’t have blood sugar issues), it is always best to eat before a workout. Not eating enough or at all can cause you to feel lethargic, dizzy, nauseated, or light-headed.
It is also a bad idea to skip food before working out, as it can negatively impact your performance.
So, what exactly should you eat before a workout? Below, I have highlighted some of the best ways to fuel yourself before working up a sweat.
Drink A Protein-Packed Smoothie
For most people, eating before working out does not sound like a plan, so if that sounds like you, you can fuel up with a glass of smoothie 30 minutes to one hour before your workout session. This will give you all the nutrients and energy you need to significantly improve performance without needing to nibble on a snack or have a whole meal.
Drink Lots Of Water
Water is your best friend any time of the day, so it isn’t exactly surprising that you need to get your body hydrated before you start exercising. You are going to sweat a lot, and if you are not properly hydrated, you may feel dizzy or light-headed during exercise. You should drink 2-3 glasses of water an hour or two before your workout. You should also constantly sip water during your workout session. The trick is to stay hydrated for as long as possible.
Eat Carb-Rich Meals
Carbs give you energy, and you need the energy to work out. If you are low on energy, you’ll probably feel weak during your workout, and this will ultimately affect your performance. You can try carb-rich meals or snacks like crackers, a price of toast, oatmeal, fruits, or a granola bar before your workout.
Consume Meals With Protein
Just as consuming carb-rich meals or snacks before your workout is a good idea, you should also eat food with a bit of protein before you start exercising, especially if your workout is on the intense side. According to the folks at RawBeautySource, if you are doing intense strength training exercises like weight lifting, you should make sure that you consume a sufficient amount of protein, as this can help repair and build your muscle. You should add protein-rich foods to your pre-workout diets such as drinking a glass of soy or regular milk, a boiled egg, Greek yogurt, or nuts. Be careful not to eat too much protein as it can cause an upset stomach which will probably ruin your workout.
What To Eat After A Workout
You need to eat after a workout to replenish your energy and glycogen levels, as well as replace all the calories your body used up during exercise. It is important to eat as soon as possible after your workout, or else you may end up feeling worn out. Also, skipping meals after a workout session won’t help you reach your fitness goals faster, if anything, it’ll negatively affect your overall performance. So, here are some of the things you should consume after a workout:
Refill With Meals Rich In Carbs And Protein
All that exercising would most likely have used up your glycogen and created tears in your muscle, so you need to consume meals that are rich in protein and carbs. Your post-workout diet should include meals with complex carbohydrates like nuts, brown rice, quinoa, and wheat bread. You should also include proteins like fish or beans. The number of carbs and proteins you consume after a workout will ultimately depend on the duration and intensity of your workout.
Drink Water Again
The first thing you need to do after a workout is to rehydrate as soon as possible. You should do this even before eating. This will help you regain the fluids lost while sweating during your workout. The more intense your workout, the more water you should drink to replenish your fluids.
When it comes to workouts, we are often too focused on other aspects that we forget one of the most important things to consider before and after a workout – what we eat. The bottom line is that, whether you are a workout enthusiast or a professional, it is important to eat the right foods and consume the right fluids before and after a workout, and hopefully, this guide will help you achieve that.