What to eat before and after a workout

Exercise; you can’t live with it, you can’t live without it. If you want to improve your chances of having a longer lifetime, you need to stay fit and healthy. Unfortunately, that’s typically easier said than done. Exercise is a grueling exercise, and people don’t always have the time to fit it into their day. Add to that the need to eat properly, and it can all seem like more effort than it’s worth. However, don’t be defeated just yet. If you educate yourself on the right stuff to eat before and after a workout, you’ll already be one step closer to a healthier lifestyle.

Photo: BURST

Fuel up in advance

If you know you’re going to have a workout, it’s always advised that you fuel up well in advance. Trying to exercise on an empty stomach is only going to end one way, and it won’t be pretty. Typically, it’s advised that you eat a proper meal an hour or two before you exercise, so you have enough energy stores to keep you going. It’s recommended that you stay away from stodgy carbohydrates during this time as they’ll only make you tired and lethargic.

Good suggestions for pre-workout foods include red meat, whole grain cereals and toast, brown rice, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. That’s a lot to choose from right? Depending on what you’re doing beforehand will likely influence which of these you should eat, but there’s plenty of options available.

A small booster snack

While it’s a good idea to eat a sizable meal several hours in advance, you should also give yourself a small burst of energy right before a workout. That’s why personal trainers often recommend that you chow down on a piece of fruit or energy bar about five to ten minutes before hitting the gym. This will stave off any hunger pangs you might have, and help you feel energized enough to make it through the workout. Just make sure that whatever you eat isn’t too filling because you don’t want to make yourself feel sick.

Photo: BURST

Give yourself a break

So you’ve just pushed yourself to the limits at the gym and have nothing left to give. Aside from a sense of pride, you’re probably also feeling a little hungry right now. Unfortunately, you can’t give in to those cravings just yet. If you want all your hard work to pay off, it’s advised that you wait until 30 minutes after a workout before you start fueling up again. Feel free to drink plenty of water – it’s highly recommended actually – but just hold off on your next meal.

Post-workout snack

When it is finally time for you to eat again, you want to have something that will do good things for your body. Essentially, anything with carbohydrates and protein is ideal because these give you more energy and help repair your muscles after a grueling workout. Boiled eggs, chicken salad, avocados, and sweet potato are all good things to consume, although it depends on what your taste preferences are as to which of these you should eat.

The next time you’re looking to hit the gym, don’t forget to fill your body with the right foods.