Have you ever headed to the gym all pumped up and ready to go only to falter out of the gate, failing to hit your stride on the treadmill or your flow in yoga class?
Or collapse on the couch, depleted and ready for a nap after an intense sweat session? There’s a reason you may be suffering through these scenarios.
If you want to get the most out of your workouts, irrespective of your chosen mode of exercise – whether it’s a gruelling CrossFit workout, an intense Zumba class, or a brisk run in the mountains, it is advised that you take your pre-workout and post-workout nutrition seriously to provide the muscle with the raw materials it needs.
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And to know more about what to eat or not to before and after your workouts or for that matter, for any healthy meal concern, you can always drop by to any of the Possible Centres and ask our Nutrition experts themselves. All for FREE! Just click and get started!
Why are Pre and Post Workout Meals Necessary?
The foods that we consume contain three essential macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Each of these macronutrients provides the body with energy especially carbohydrates. When we eat carbs, our bodies store them in the muscles as glycogen.
Fat also supplies fuel to the body, albeit more slowly than carbohydrates.
During the first 90 minutes of the exercise, the fat metabolism accounts for about half of the body’s energy requirements and that jumps up to 25 percent after we have depleted carbs during long-term exercise lasting more than 20 minutes. Therefore, we need to include fats in the food we eat, especially if we like doing strenuous workouts.
A few examples of quick and easy meals to eat before your workout
Whole Wheat Toast with Sliced Banana and Cinnamon.
Here are a few examples of quick and easy meals to eat after your workout:
- Grilled chicken with mixed vegetables
- Veggie omelette
- Coconut Water
- Salmon and Sweet Potato
- Veggies and hummus
Exercise food is different from regular food. It needs to contain carbohydrates, a little fat and some plant protein.
If eaten before the exercise, it needs to be light enough so that it won’t weigh you down or make you sluggish. Let’s learn about these pre-workout and post-workout meals in an elaborate way.
- Whole Wheat Toast with Sliced Banana and Cinnamon – Carbs should be your gym BFF when you are gearing up to sweat out in the gym. Whole wheat toast with fruit gives you both types of carbs and digests easily. A dash of cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar and improves brain function.
- Yogurt – Eating yogurt before a run always helps and is easy on your stomach. Eat one that contains dried fruits and nuts which give a quick energy boost while seeds and nuts will keep insulin levels from dropping.
- Smoothies – The best snack on the go is a smoothie. For a foolproof formula, use your favorite sliced fruit, a cup of Greek yogurt and some granola for a thicker consistency. 10 to 20 grams of protein before exercising is plenty.
- Oatmeal – About ½ a cup of this hearty grain an hour or two before exercise will provide you with carbohydrate energy necessary for a quick and intense workout session.
- Banana – The perfect pre and post workout meal is full of complex carbs, minerals such as potassium and fiber.
Post Workout Meals
- Grilled Chicken and Mixed Vegetables – Since your body is in recovery mode, the lean proteins and carbs will fill you up.
- Veggie Omelet – Eggs are a great source of protein and help aid in muscle recovery and growth. Veggies have vitamins which are the best antioxidants for your body.
- Coconut water – It is the best way to replenish the electrolytes that are lost through sweating during a workout.
- Salmon and Sweet Potato – Salmon has bioactive peptides and helps regulate insulin levels. Sweet potatoes pack in those complex carbs and help restore glycogen levels which get depleted after a workout.
- Veggies and hummus – It provides a small amount of plant protein for muscle repair and fat for sustained energy.
Still not sure how to manage nutrition around your workout sessions? Well, let’s get you all pumped up with this video.