Regular exercise can help relieve stress, improve your mood, boost metabolism, reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and help you lose weight!
But it’s imperative to boost your fitness with the right pre- and post-workout snacks to give your body the strength to increase muscle mass, burn fat, and recover faster. The right workout foods can help you maximize the benefits of all the hard work you put in and stay on track with your fitness goals.
before exercise Foods
The ideal time to eat is 30 minutes to 2 hours before your workout, depending on the type of food you’re eating. A small snack can be done 30 minutes before while the meal should ideally be done 2 hours before hitting the gym. Experts also recommend drinking 2 cups of water 2-3 hours before and 1 cup 10 to 20 minutes before your workout.
Your pre-workout snack should include carbs, which are energy for the body. They break down into glucose and enter muscle cells, providing fuel for exercising at maximum capacity. A little protein is a good idea, especially if your routine for that day includes strength training. Lifting weights creates tiny tears in the muscle fibers, and protein helps the muscles to heal and get stronger.
peanut butter sandwich
Peanut butter is a nutrient-rich, calorie-rich food. Rich in fiber and protein, one tablespoon of peanut butter contains 90 calories and 8 grams of fat.
Along with whole wheat bread, it provides your body with the fuel it needs to sustain a tough session. Look for 100% whole grain, high-fiber breads, which provide you with good carbs.
Known as nature’s power bar, bananas are packed with digestible carbohydrates and potassium, which help maintain nerve and muscle function.
It is especially recommended as a pre-workout snack for those who exercise in the morning. Another option is to mix a medium banana with 1/2 cup of yogurt.
A bowl of hot oatmeal, with some seeds, is an ideal pre-workout meal for those who are planning to indulge in a rigorous workout.
The high content of carbs keeps you energized and the fiber ensures a gradual release of sugar, thereby maintaining your stamina for a longer period of time. It also keeps you satisfied for longer.
open egg sandwich
Two hard-boiled eggs, yolk removed, sliced and placed on whole-wheat toast are the perfect way to start your workout. Whole wheat bread gives you energy to fuel your workout, while the protein in eggs helps build and repair muscle.
curd with muesli
a study published in Journal of Nutrition Turns out that a high-glycemic-index food like muesli produces small spikes in blood sugar and can increase your fat burning. This dry cereal – a combination of toasted whole oats, nuts, fruit and wheat flakes, is high in fiber and whole grains. Add some yogurt to increase your protein intake.
after workout Foods
It is important to eat after a workout – to replenish glycogen that has been depleted during the session. Getting some protein is essential for rapid muscle recovery, and it is essential after weight training. Aim for a snack within 20 minutes of your workout and follow it up with a full meal three hours later. A good post workout meal High in complex carbs (brown rice, quinoa and millet) and protein (beans, chicken or tofu).
Research shows that we need about 1.5 to 2 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. Choose a protein powder that suits your fitness plans and consume it immediately after your workout. You can choose from whey, whey isolate or whey hydrolyzate powder.
Chicken breast has a higher protein-to-fat ratio than any other part of the chicken and is a great source of lean protein. It provides about 187 calories and 40 grams of protein. Peel off the skin of the breast to cut the fat content in half and have it grilled, broiled or steamed – in salads, or with soup or whole-wheat toast.
There’s no better way to replenish your body than with a seasonal fruit smoothie. Mix different types every day by experimenting with fruits like yogurt, milk, apples, bananas, oranges, vegetables and nuts. You can blend power smoothies, protein smoothies by adding whey protein or weight loss smoothies. Green smoothies also provide ample nutrition.
If you’re constantly on the go and can’t find the time to plan fancy post-workout snacks, a handful of dried fruits and nuts fits just fine. Nuts provide protein while dry fruits are chock-a-block with simple carbohydrates. Choose a mix of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cranberries, raisins and apricots.
yogurt and fruit
Jay3/4 cup yogurt packs in a nutritional punch – it provides the body with 100-150 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 20 grams of sugar and about 8-10 grams of protein. Combine it with grains or fresh fruit to add the benefits of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Use plenty of fresh berries in season; They contain micronutrients that help fight muscle pain.
Not sure which workout foods will work best for you and your fitness goals? A HealthifyMe Nutritionist Can Help