The key foundations of a healthy lifestyle plan are diet and exercise. Is it possible, however, to boost our fitness results by combining our diet and activity schedules? And, if that’s the case, how should we eat before, during, and after activities?
Combining a healthy diet with energising exercise might be difficult. Life gets in the way of our “healthy living plans,” whether it’s eating at different times, not focusing on good weight loss foods, skipping meals, overeating, snacking in between, working out infrequently, or suffering from injuries. While flexibility is both a necessity and a virtue, sticking to a diet and exercise routine provides numerous benefits.
WHY SHOULD YOU EAT BEFORE A WORKOUT?
The primary purpose of a pre-event/workout meal is to restore glycogen, which is a short-term carbohydrate storage type. Because the liver is glycogen depleted from powering the neurological system during sleep, this provides rapid energy and is critical for morning workouts. The muscles, on the other hand, should be glycogen-loaded from the previous day’s correct recovery nourishment.
The body doesn’t require much, but it does require something to kick-start the metabolism, supply a direct energy source, and allow for the workout’s intended intensity and length. But what exactly is this “something”? A workout can be made or broken based on this decision. It’s a good idea to try out a few different pre-workout snacks/meals and then stick with the ones that work best in your situation.
WHICH FOODS SHOULD YOU EAT BEFORE A WORKOUT?
Carbohydrates should make up the majority of the nutrients in a pre-workout meal because they provide rapid energy to the body. Protein should also be ingested, but not in large amounts because it takes longer to digest and does not provide an urgent need at the start of an activity. To reduce the risk of gastrointestinal discomfort during the activity, fat and dietary fibre should be kept to a minimum (Smith & Collene 2015).
According to research, the type of carbohydrate consumed has no direct effect on overall performance (Campbell et al. 2008). Regular foods are best (for example, a bagel with peanut butter), but convenience foods (such as energy bars or replacement shakes) may be useful because you can control the calories and carbohydrate, protein, and fat content.
Depending on their needs, exercisers may also add a piece of fruit, a glass of low-fat chocolate milk, or another favourite carbohydrate.
PRE-WORKOUT EATING THAT WORKS
Not only should pre-workout foods be well digestible, but they should also be simply (and conveniently) eaten. The duration and level of exertion, the capacity to supplement throughout the activity, personal energy needs, environmental circumstances, and the start time should all be considered when creating a thorough pre-workout nutrition plan.
A person who is heavier and participating in a longer-distance race, for example, will likely require a larger meal and extra nutrients during the event to maintain the appropriate intensity.
It can be difficult to figure out how much is too much or too little, but self-experimentation is essential for success. As a test of what works, the athlete should try a variety of pre-workout meals at varied training intensities. When experimenting with various nutrition programs to achieve the best outcomes, those training for a specific event should imitate race day as nearly as possible (time of day, circumstances, etc.).
IT, S ALSO VITAL TO CONSIDER WHAT YOU EAT AFTER YOUR WORKOUT.
After a workout, eat a protein- and carbohydrate-rich snack or supper to ensure that your body has the energy it needs to replenish what it has used. It also aids in the healing and development of muscle. A brief snack can help take the edge off your hunger while also allowing you to calm down, shower, change, and eat a substantial dinner.
Meals consumed within your recovery window, which lasts up to an hour after your activity, should be high in protein, carbs, and overall calories. Dairy products, for example, contain the amino acid leucine, which aids muscle protein synthesis.
MEALS TO EAT AFTER A WORKOUT
- Smoothie made with frozen/fresh fruit, low-fat milk/yogurt, and potentially protein powder (depending on needs)
- 15-20 grams of protein in an energy bar made with 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice
- 100% fruit or vegetable juice on a whole-grain bagel or English muffin with peanut butter and banana.
- With whole-grain bread, steaming veggies, low-fat/nonfat milk, and fruit, serve whole-grain pasta or cheese ravioli with a tomato-based sauce.
- Sandwich made with grilled chicken, cottage cheese, and a baked sweet potato on whole-grain bread.
- With steaming brown rice, a whole-grain dinner roll, sautéed greens, low-fat yogurt, and fruit, bake or grill lean beef, chicken, turkey, or fish.
Within 30 minutes of finishing your workout, have a snack that has carbohydrates and a moderate quantity of protein, as well as water and sodium. If you don’t feel like eating after your workout, a recovery beverage might be a smart choice.
Cool down and eat: After an exercise, don’t forget to eat and drink plenty of water.
To recover quickly and thoroughly, your body requires healthy nourishment, such as the options listed above, which should be consumed within 30 minutes of the completion of your activity.