When working out, it is important to fuel your body right. What you eat before and after a workout can affect the way you burn at the gym and the way your body recovers afterward. Although there is no one size that fits all, these are my recommendations for a healthy eating plan when working out.
Before a Workout:
It’s important to give your body some time to digest before a workout. Usually people say they feel best when leaving thirty minutes to an hour before going to the gym. How much you eat also varies by person and by workout. Most people do well with smaller pre-workout meals or snacks. If you are doing lower intensity activity (walking, light bike riding, etc), you probably won’t need a pre-workout meal at all. On the flip side, the longer and harder your workout, the more you will probably want to eat. Web MD suggests focusing on foods that are low in fat, moderate in carbs and protein, low fiber, includes fluids, and easy to digest. One of my favorite pre-workout snacks is whole wheat toast with almond butter, sliced banana, and cinnamon. Fitness Magazine has some similar great recommendations!
After a long workout of muscle building and cardio burning, it is important to fuel your body with protein! Some of my favorite things to eat after a workout are eggs, greek yogurt, and quinoa because they are low in calorie and high in protein. FitSugar recommends 4 protein-packed post-wrokout meals to try, all under 500 calories. My favorite is the Sweet Potato Quinoa patty. Bananas are also great in helping to restore damaged or sore muscles after an intense workout and blueberries replenish your antioxidants! Lastly, is drink water! You’re body becomes dehydrated after a long workout and needs water to replenish. Make sure to drink 2-3 cups of water for every pound you lose during a workout. However, most important is that you just eat something! If you wait too long after a workout your muscles and your body won’t be able to recover properly. So don’t let all that hard work go to waste. Eat smart and feel good!