Our body is like a car, it can't perform optimally without fuel. And our body’s fuel is proper nutrition. When it comes to working out, having the right eating habits can help maximize the benefits of your hard work.
Proper nutrition promotes muscle recovery, growth, athletic potential and body composition. When you eat certain foods at the right times, it’ll help you accomplish your goals much faster.
Before Working Out - Fuel Up!
You need to fuel up before you work out so you’ll have enough energy to maximize your workout. Ideally, you should fuel up two hours before you exercise. You can do this by hydrating with water, and eating healthy carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereals or pasta, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. You should avoid consuming saturated fats and even a lot of healthy protein before working out as these types of food digest slower in your stomach. This will in effect take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles.
Proper pre-workout nutrition is critical for keeping you energized during a workout. Plus, it also help maximize protein synthesis (muscle growth) and recovery after your workout.
Recommendations for pre-workout foods:
- Bananas: loaded with easily digestible carbs and potassium
- Fruit and Greek yogurt: great source of protein while fruit is full of natural carbohydrates
- Oats and protein powder: contains amino acid complex to promote muscle growth.
- Eggs and whole wheat toast: awesome source of protein and carbs
During Workout - Make a Pit Stop!
Whether you’re a seasoned athlete who is used to training for several hours or someone trying to develop an active lifestyle, you need to keep your body hydrated with small, frequent sips of water.
For longer, high intensity workouts, it is recommended to eat 50-100 calories every half hour of carbohydrates such an energy bar or banana. Ingesting carbohydrates during your workout helps your muscles to perform more work.
After Workout - Refuel Your Tank!
After your workout, you need to replenish your body. Drink water, of course. Also, since you burn a lot of carbohydrates, you need to consume carbohydrates after exercising. In the 20-60 minutes after your workout, your body can store carbohydrates as energy and help in recovery. You should also refuel by eating foods with protein to help repair and grow your muscles.
Remember, you must know that what you put in your body is as important as you what you do with your body. Proper nutrition is crucial to keeping your engine performing at its best.