With the increasing risk of disease and alarming levels of obesity, people are moving towards increasing their level of physical activity and workout. Physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind. It not only helps in burning the excess calories you consume daily, but also makes you aware of your stamina, endurance, and physical fitness level. A toned body increases your confidence and prevents the onset of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. Here are the reasons which will increase your motivation levels and will encourage you to start doing workout regularly to feel good and also to look good.
But with an intense workout, one should also know what to eat before and after the workout so that optimal results are obtained and your fitness level is enhanced.
Eating before a workout is necessary because it gives you the required fuel to sustain your energy levels throughout the entire workout.
Eating after the workout is also important to speed up the recovery of depleted glycogen stores.
What To Eat Before Workout:
Like mentioned before, you need to nourish your body before workout and carbohydrates serve as the best fuel for your body.
Following are some suggestions for a pre-workout fuel:
- Banana: Rich in Potassium and simple carbohydrates which are broken down quickly boosting the glycogen stores.
- Apple and walnuts: These foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and serve as a good snack for sugar cravings.
- Greek Yogurt with Berries: Berries are rich in antioxidants and are high in fibre. Greek yoghurt provides you with enough protein to prevent muscle breakdown and depletion.
- Fruit Smoothies: Smoothies contain milk or yoghurt as the base and fruits that add flavour, vitamins, and minerals. They act as a reliable source of carbohydrates and can be consumed before starting a workout.
- Sweet Potato: It has complex carbohydrates and sufficient vitamins and minerals and is a good substitute for potato. It’s high fibre content and low glycemic index prevents a sudden rise of blood glucose levels and helps in maintaining sustained energy levels throughout your workout.
- Oats: Will keep you full and satiated even when you are burning calories. Oats are rich in soluble fibre, which help in keeping your blood glucose levels well regulated, and under control.
What To Eat After Workout:
In order to recover the depleted muscles and glycogen stores after a workout, one should eat both protein and carbohydrates.
Following are some suggestions for a Post-workout meal:
- Eggs: These have high biological value protein and are loaded with vitamins including vitamin B6, B12, A and minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and copper which help our body in tissue repair and prevent nutritional deficiencies.
- Quinoa: Good source of protein which actually is a grain. It helps to replenish the depleted glycogen levels giving you energy and helps your body to fight against fatigue. (You can order Quinoa from here)
- Salmon: Fish is a great source of lean protein and is considered to be white meat which is low in saturated fat and healthier as compared to red meat.
- Chicken Breast: Good source of low-fat protein. It helps to build muscle mass and to prevent loss of muscle tissue.
- Banana with peanut butter: Banana gives you potassium, carbohydrates, magnesium which help you in the recovery process in case your body suffers a tissue injury or mild ligament tear. Peanut butter provides you with adequate protein and healthy monounsaturated fats.
- Vegetable sticks with low-fat hummus dip: Hummus contains chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil and is a very healthy and nutritious protein-rich dip. Chickpeas contain amino acids which promote muscle protein synthesis and vegetables gives you fibre and satiety. This option prevents you from bingeing and overeating.
Some Key Points To Focus On:
- The body needs carbohydrates to provide energy for the workout.
- Protein is required to repair and heal the muscle tissues which undergo stretching, and wear and tear.
- Try not to indulge in overeating before a typical workout session because it will make you feel sluggish and sleepy.
- Keep yourself adequately hydrated by drinking sufficient water to replenish the fluids you may have lost during the workout.
- Do warm-up for at least 10 minutes before you begin your exercise session to activate your muscle fibres.
- Always take adequate rest and at least 6-7 hours of sound sleep, as it will help you out in recovery from fatigue and exhaustion.