Pre & Post Workout Meal Tips
PRE AND POST-WORKOUT MEAL TIPS
“What should I eat before and after a workout?” is probably one of the questions we hear the most.
While the answer may occasionally depend more on the athlete and the particular activity, some universal facts regarding pre-and post-workout nutrition hold true whether you're a weekend warrior or a seasoned pro.
Pre-Workout Meal Tips
Your body's "engine"(i.e., muscles) runs on carbohydrates. Additionally, you need more carbs to stay going the harder your engine works.
So, how soon should I eat before working out? It varies.
As a general rule, it's best to avoid eating right before a workout since your stomach is working to digest the food in your stomach, and your muscles are working to do their "thing." For optimal performance, these conflicting objectives present a difficulty. Additionally, eating too soon before a workout might make you feel a little queasy in your stomach while you exercise or play.
Here are some pre-workout fuel suggestions :
- Peanut butter and banana or PBJ sandwich
- Greek yogurt with berries
- Oatmeal with low-fat milk and fruit
- Apple and peanut or almond butter
- A handful of nuts and raisins (two parts raisins: one part nuts)
Note that each of these recommendations has both some protein and some carbohydrates. The fuel is carbs, while the protein restores and repairs but also "primes the pump" by supplying the proper amino acids to your muscles.
Depending on how well your body tolerates food, you should ideally nourish your body for 1 to 4 hours before working out. Try different times to see which suits your body the best. For example, if you're a competitive athlete, you should investigate this during your practice sessions rather than on game day.
Post-Workout Meal Tips
Your body uses the glycogen stored in your muscles to power through a workout or game, but you must resupply the nutrients you lost afterward.
Focus on consuming carbohydrates and protein after an exercise or competition. This enables your muscles to replace the glycogen they just used up during exercise and assists your weary muscles in rebuilding and repairing themselves with the protein and readily available amino acids. After a strenuous workout, try to eat within an hour.
Post-workout meals include:
- Post-workout recovery smoothie (or post-workout smoothie made with low-fat milk and fruit)
- Low-fat chocolate milk
- Turkey on a whole-grain wrap with veggies
- Low-fat yogurt with berries
These suggestions are convenient and provide primarily carbohydrates and a small amount of protein. Note that the first two are liquid options that also assist the body in rehydrating.