There’s a lot that goes into staying healthy - exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep, etc. Besides solely eating healthy though, it's important to note exactly what you should be eating before and after a workout. This will maximize your workout, sustain energy, replenish glycogen stores, and repair your muscles. Let's dive in so you can start receiving these benefits and eat correctly now.
The Workout Necessities
But before diving into some delicious foods, let's cover the basic necessities. You need to hydrate before, during, and after your workout. Water is your body’s cooling system, which is essential to not become dehydrated when you sweat. Also, before a workout, it's best to eat carbs and protein for energy. However, these shouldn't contain much fat or fiber since they slow down your digestion. Fiber is great post-workout, as long as it's natural and not immediately before or after you exercise.
What To Eat Before A Workout
Now that we have some knowledge out of the way, let's get into the good stuff. If you're feeling low energy and need a boost before your workout, then you may want to eat the below foods. You essentially want to pick something that has carbohydrates to give you a quick boost of energy, and eat this 2 hours before your actual workout.
- Breakfast foods (whole wheat toast, egg whites, oatmeal, Greek yogurt)
- Fruits (smoothie, apple, berries, banana, orange, pineapple, grapefruit)
- Proteins & Carbs (almonds, rice, broccoli, peanut butter, milk)
What To Eat After A Workout
If you are feeling super exhausted after a workout and can’t really function or move, you may want to eat these post workout meals to help replenish your energy and rebuild your muscles. Therefore, pick something with a good mix of protein and carbs IMMEDIATELY after you workout.
- Natural Fiber (whole grain cereal, spinach, veggies, fruit, flax & chia seeds)
- Proteins (protein shake, peanut butter, salmon, turkey, chicken breast, eggs, cottage cheese)
- Carbs (whole grain wrap, sweet potatoes, whole grain pasta)
- Low-Fats (dark chocolate, hummus)
These pre and post workout meals can be great, however they are not necessary for everyone. This is because all of our bodies are engineered differently, so just be smart and listen to your body. Simply eat if you feel you need the food to boost the potential of your workout!