As you progress with your workout regime, you’ll realize that your body is an incredible machine. The more you throw at it – the better it becomes. Still, like any machine, it requires quality fuel to operate at peak performance. Therefore, when you eat before and after a workout, you’re ensuring your body can reach maximum potential. However, the choice of food matters as much as the exercise regime. Sometimes – even more. That’s why professional fitness trainers recommend you eat before and after a workout. So, let’s see which foods will allow you to maximize gains and minimize the downsides of great training.
Why is it important to eat before and after a workout?
Eating before working out has many benefits, but the most notable ones are:
● You’ll increase workout performance, thus ensuring better results in the long run, and;
● It allows you to exercise at a higher intensity or for a more extended period (depending on which workout regime you choose).
Therefore, “fueling” yourself up before a workout gives you a chance and a possibility to make the most of your training session.
On the flip side, having a healthy and hearty meal after working out will:
● Help your body recover faster;
● Boost your mood and make you more motivated;
● Get you prepped and ready for the next challenge.
Is it OK to work out on an empty stomach?
This is a common conundrum that we and our colleagues from fitnesstrainerdubai.com often encounter. Especially from beginners and people intent on losing weight the right way. Now, it is true that exercising without food can help burn more fat. However, working out while fasting has negative sides:
● It can cause dizziness, nausea, or make you feel sluggish and languid. Needless to say, this can cause more than discomfort. It impacts your performance in the long run and can even lead to injuries;
● You’ll burn muscle, along with fat. Again, this will impact your results in the long run. As your weight loss and muscle build-up slow to a crawl, you may become discouraged and frustrated. Precisely the opposite of what you intend to achieve.
● Lastly, not eating before an exercise will make your body burn out its fat reserves. This wouldn’t be so bad – if it wouldn’t work overtime afterward to restore them all. So, your body will actually start storing more fat than it uses.
Therefore, although you can work out without a proper meal, it’s definitely not something you should do.
What to eat before exercising
To fuel your body in the best way possible, you’ll need a balanced diet of three main macronutrients. These are:
● Carbohydrates (“Carbs”);
● Protein and;
To get the most out of your workout, your primary focus should be on the first two. So, let’s break them down and see why it is so.
The bread and butter of the body’s energy
Carbs are what give your body the energy it needs. As such, they are an essential ingredient of the food you eat before and after the exercise. There are two types of carbs, and each one is useful in its own way:
● Simple carbs give your body a short-term energy boost. Therefore, you should use them only as a snack before a workout;
● Complex carbs are a longer-lasting energy source. They will help you push through the entire exercise routine.
The main takeaway here is: don’t forgo one in favor of another. Your body needs both simple and complex carbs to function properly.
Caption: It’s a common misconception that healthy food tastes awful. It’s quite the other way around!
Foods that are excellent sources of carbs are:
● Whole grains: Oats, brown rice, wheat, quinoa, corn, etc. Even popcorn counts!
● Vegetables: All of them!
● Whole fruits: Bananas, apples, pears, oranges, tomatoes, etc.
● Nuts: Peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.
● Seeds: Pumpkin, sunflower, chia, etc.
● Tubers: Potatoes, yam, sweet potatoes, etc.
● Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, etc.