Best Pre and Post Workout Nutrition and Supplements

Best Pre and Post Workout Nutrition and Supplements

Choosing what to eat before you hit the gym may not be a simple task, but it’s definitely worth the effort. If you want to reach your fitness goals, your body needs fuel in the form of proper nutrition. What you consume after the workout is also very important. Proper nutrition will give your body what it needs in order to recover and grow muscle mass. All in all, the foods you consume before and after exercise will help you make the most of your workout sessions.

Best Pre and Post Workout Nutrition and Supplements, Pre and Post Workout Nutrition, Supplements, Workout, Workout Meals, Workout Nutrition, Fitness,
Best Pre and Post Workout Nutrition and Supplements
[ photo: pexels by deeana garcia ]

What to Eat Before Workout

If you don’t eat before hitting the gym, you might feel dizzy, lethargic, or even nauseated. It also increases the chances of you ending up injured. But even if none of this happens, not consuming enough food will have a negative effect on your performance.

1. Choose Foods That Contain Carbs

The reason for this is simple: carbs provide energy. When you consume carbs, they break down into glucose, go inside your muscles, and give you the fuel you need to work out at maximum capacity. Not eating enough carbs before a workout will most likely make you feel tired and weak. Some great foods to eat for a quick energy boost are:

oatmeal
rice cake
granola bar
whole-wheat toast
piece of fruit
  
2. Ensure Your Pre-workout Food Contains Protein

Besides carbs, you also need to eat some protein, especially if you’re doing strength training. During strength-training (like lifting weights), small tears are created in the muscles. The body tries to repair these tears when you rest, at the same time growing and strengthening your muscles. And to do this, it needs protein.

Some of the best protein sources are:

Greek yogurt
nuts
a glass of soy milk
slice of turkey
hard-boiled egg 

Avoid eating too much before you hit the gym to avoid upsetting your stomach during the training session.

Examples of pre-workout snacks:

Smoothie made with 2 cups of veggies and 1 cup of fruit
Mixed nuts & dried fruits
Granola bar
Rice cakes with peanut butter
Oatmeal with fruit and peanut butter
Baked salmon, roasted veggies, and brown rice
Chicken with quinoa and grilled veggies
Greek yogurt with berries and granola
Pear or apple with peanut butter 

3. Hydrate

Don’t forget to drink lots of water to hydrate your body before hitting the gym. To determine your hydration status, check your urine’s color in the morning. If the color is light, it means you’re properly hydrated but if the color is dark, you need to drink more water.

Start by drinking 2 cups of water about 2-3 hours before the training session, and another cup about 15 minutes before the workout. If you aren’t properly hydrated, you may experience muscle spasms or cramps, as well as low energy levels.

It is also important to drink water during the training session. Make sure to drink a cup of water every 15-30 minutes, especially if you’re working out in a heated gym and sweating profusely.

4. Choose the Best Timing for Your Pre-Workout Meal

The best time to eat is about half an hour to 3 hours before the workout. However, it is best to experiment and see which time frame works best for you. If you are exercising in the morning, you might not be able to eat a whole meal, so a small breakfast or a quick snack will do the trick.

5. Find the Best Alternatives

Many people don’t always have the time to eat a proper meal before their workout. Luckily, there is a quick fix: protein powders. They come in different flavors and can be prepared in a heartbeat. Whatever you do, don’t exercise on an empty stomach.

What to Eat After a Workout

Eating after the training session allows you to restore the glycogen that has been used up. It also speeds up muscle recovery, especially after strength training. In addition, food contains electrolytes which you lose when sweating profusely.

If you don’t eat after the training session, you might experience blood sugar drop and feel tired.

1. Eat Protein and Carbs

As mentioned before, exercising makes you use up the glycogen reserves and tears your muscles. That’s why your post-workout meal should contain complex carbs that break down slowly such as:

brown rice
quinoa
whole wheat bread
nuts

It should also contain healthy protein such as:

fish
beans
tofu

Here are some great meals to eat after your workout:
One or two hard-boiled eggs with whole wheat toast
Whole wheat pita with two tablespoons of hummus and grilled veggies
Green smoothie with protein powder
Graham crackers with nut butter
Vegetable omelet with roasted potatoes and avocado
Steamed trout with sautéed spinach and baked sweet potato
Whole wheat toast with ½ sliced banana and nut butter
A cup of chocolate milk.

2. Eat Right After the Workout

When you work out, your body uses up all the energy it needs in order to function properly. That’s why you need to eat ASAP and restore this energy. If you can’t eat a full meal immediately, have a quick snack or a protein powder shake, then eat the meal later.

3. Rehydrate

Just because you’re done working out, doesn’t mean you should stop drinking water. You need to replenish the fluids lost while sweating right after the training session.

Main Takeaways

Your body needs carbs to fuel the muscles.
It also needs protein to help repair and build muscles.
Eat a combination of carbs and protein about 30 minutes to 3 hours before the workout and immediately after the workout.
Drink plenty of water.

The beauty of nutrition is that it can be customized to fit personal needs and preferences. Experiment to find out what works best for your body.

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