Forget about those old wives’ tales that say that you can’t eat if you’re hitting the gym. Getting enough nutrition before any physical activity is important as it gives your body enough fuel to burn and helps your muscles recuperate. However, not just any snack will do. Check out our list of things that are healthy to much on before, during, and after you get your groove on.
A few hours before you work out, it’s important that you have a generous intake of healthy food that contain carbohydrates that will give you the energy, as well as protein and fat that will give your muscles the support it needs for heavy physical activity.
1. Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread is rich in carbohydrates, which are the body’s main source of energy. They fuel your muscles whether you’re into endurance or high intensity interval training. Make sure to get enough carbo before jumping into hardcore exercise as not having enough may push your body to use up protein, which can slow down muscle and bone repairs.
2. Grilled, Baked, or Boiled Chicken
Protein found in lean mean and poultry make for stronger muscles: that means lesser tissue damage once you start working them. Protein also increases amino acids in the blood stream, which assist in tissue recovery.
Contrary to popular belief, fat from food like peanuts is actually something that the body needs, as it slows down digestion and keeps your glucose levels healthy.
During Your Workout Breaks:
If you’re spending more than a couple of hours in the gym, you may need to take a break and replenish your nutritional supply to keep you going.
Aside from being rich in protein, salmon is a good source of Vitamin D, which helps build muscle.[crp]
Raisins are as good as any energy bar, as they provide you with fiber, potassium, iron, and micronutrients — everything to keep you up and running during your second wind.
Bananas are rich in potassium, which you need to keep you from cramping especially if you’re into high intensity sports training.
After Your Workout:
The best thing to do after work out is to consume protein-rich food paired with a little carbo-based snack. Refueling after burning so much can help your body recover faster.
As the body doesn’t store protein, it’s important to replace what you’ve burnt during workout. Eggs, as we all know, have lots of it, so make sure to eat one or two after sweating out.
Yogurt is a good source of protein and carbohydrates. Mix in slices of in-season fruits for a yummy and nutritious snack.
Think eating so close to workout time defeats the purpose, especially if you’re trying to lose weight? Think again! Grabbing a light snack helps you replenish the nutrients your body burns through, and it keeps you from getting so hungry that all those burnt calories go down the drain because you end up going on a junk food binge anyway.
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Charlene works for a popular greeting card company, hoping that what she writes makes some big, burly man somewhere cry. She's into MMA, and when she's not watching armbars on YouTube, she also writes for a tech blog or naps with her cat.