A good workout plan should be much more than just exercising. Of course, the actual physical activity is a big part of it, but eating and drinking properly is extremely important to maximize your efforts and results. Proper nutrition can vastly improve your performance, energy levels and, consequently, help you get the results you want. If you really want to get the most out of your training program, here’s the best foods to eat before and after a workout session:
Aerobic exercise: for running, jogging, biking, walking and any other activity which stress endurance over long periods of time, your body initially uses carbohydrates as fuel but, as the duration increases, your body begins to burn fat.
Anaerobic exercise: for short-term, high-intensity activities such as weightlifting or intensive workouts, the primary fuel source for your muscles is carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. These repetitive, vigorous activity can use up most of the carbs stored in your muscles.
Carbohydrates are the foundation for exercising. Foods such as whole-grain pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, and fruits and vegetables are rich in complex carbohydrates, which are the best sources of energy for your body. Small meals about an hour before your workout is one of the best ways to prepare your body for the work ahead. Allow proper time to digest any meal composed of complex carbs and try to avoid sugars, including sodas, as they may lower your blood sugar levels during exercise.
Immediately after your workout, small snacks rich in carbs, such as nutritional bars, are ideal to restore your muscle-glycogen levels but the most important meal come about one hour after training. Try to eat a full meal that includes lean protein, such as chicken or tuna, in order to repair your damaged muscle tissues as well as some carbs to restore those glycogen levels. Since everyone is different, with different diets and exercise programs, there is no perfect rule but a person moderately active may want to get 60% of their diet from carbs, 20% from protein, and another 20% from fat, for a well-balanced diet.
Water is an essential nutrient that is critical for optimal physical performance, resistance to injury, and maintenance of normal body temperature. You must hydrate and rehydrate your body constantly. So, drink a lot of water before, during and after exercising.
More Related Products