The Ultimate Guide on Pre and Post Workout Nutrition
When it comes to fitness and training, we all want to get the best out of it. However, while we are mentally preparing ourselves for it, we often overlook the diet aspect i.e. the food we intake. Food act as a battery for our body providing us with the required energy we need during workouts.
Eating specific food items can help amplify the result for which you have been sweating out in the gym. Also, paying attention to workout nutrition can help you to reap many health benefits as well.
If you are a beginner and not sure what to eat pre and post workout, then this guide can help. This ultimate guide offers you a complete list of pre and post workout meals that will help boost your energy and make you healthier and happier.
- A] What Are The Benefits of Eating Healthy?
- B] What to Eat Before a Workout: Pre Workout Meal
- C] What to Eat After a Workout: Post Workout Meal
- #Staying Hydrated Before, During and After Workouts
A] What Are The Benefits of Eating Healthy?
#1. Stronger Immune System
Maintaining a healthy diet can help boost your immunity. Here, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts in your diet can help strengthen your immune system. This, in turn, can help protect your body from germs. Also, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is recommended to limit your intake of sugar, and quit alcohol and smoking.
#2. Weight Loss
A balanced diet with regular exercise can also help you to lose weight. Cutting down on junk food items and having healthy meals is one way to control your weight. Having an optimal weight can lower the risk of obesity and help you to better manage your blood pressure and cholesterol. Also, many studies support that regular exercise can help burn unwanted carbs, which further facilitates the weight loss journey.
#3. Heart Health
An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can result in poor heart health. Having a well-balanced diet that includes essential protein, minerals and vitamins can do wonders for your heart while also protecting you from various heart-related risks. Thus, ensure that your diet is wholesome and workout regularly.
#4. Alleviates Stress and Anxiety
There are many ways to relieve stress, and eating healthily is one of them. An increase in stress and anxiety can be tackled with the help of physical activity and a nutritional diet. To combat stress and anxiety, include nuts, eggs, whole grains, avocados in your diet. These foods can make you feel calmer and keep you relaxed.
#5. Improved Mood and Energy
Your dietary habit can impact your mood and energy level. For instance, when you are sad, you might immediately reach for comfort food (ice cream, chocolate) to uplift your mood. But, eating excessive junk can adversely affect your body, which could lead to weight gain and make you lethargic. For this reason, you need to make healthy choices when it comes to food. This will greatly improve your mood as well as energy levels.
#6. Reduced Cancer Risk
Cancer risks are increasing day by day. Here, eating foods rich in antioxidants like berries, nuts & seeds, dark leafy veggies can help reduce the risk of cancer. Antioxidants can also help reduce the damage caused by free radicals, thereby lowering the risk of cancer significantly.
#7. Better Sleep
A poor diet (one loaded with sugar) can disrupt your sleeping patterns. This, in turn, can affect your physical activity during the day. Thus, it is important to eat right to improve the quality of your sleep. Also, resting well will ensure that your body gets enough time to restore itself, which helps prevent chronic illnesses.
B] What to Eat Before a Workout: Pre Workout Meal
Oats are a perfect way to start your day. Instead of running on an empty stomach, fill it with whole-grain oatmeal to keep yourself energised for long hours. You can also add some fresh fruits and make a complete meal out of it. This pre-workout meal is easy to make and a great way to increase stamina.
#2. Greek Yoghurt With Berries and Chia Seeds
Eating chia seeds before the workout provides you with the necessary fuel required to burn extra carbs as they are packed with omega-3s fatty acids. Greek yoghurt topped with fresh berries, on the other hand, provides the necessary proteins required during cardio.
#3. Bananas and Grapes
Bananas are an excellent healthy workout snack as they are packed with potassium and provide enough starch & protein for a seamless workout session. Likewise, Grapes are easily digestible and offer energy-boosting carbohydrates that help maintain nerve & muscle function while exercising.
#4. Dried Fruits
A ready-to-go pre-workout food, eating a handful of dried fruits before your workout can help you gain the required energy needed for exercising. Almonds, in particular, contain proteins and carbohydrates which are easy to digest.
#5. Homemade Granola bar
Granola or energy bars are an excellent source of nutrition as they help increase stamina. But, market-brought protein bars can include processed sugar and added fats, so it is best to avoid them. Instead, you can make sugar-free, nutritional-rich granola bars at home, which is a healthier alternative that will also aid in building and repairing muscle tissue.
#6. Boiled Eggs
This food item is amazing for pre-workout nutrition. Eggs are a powerhouse of vitamins and proteins that are required before a long workout session. Soft boiled eggs help in muscle growth and recovery of the muscles. It is also an ideal post-workout food. It is recommended to have eggs at least an hour before your workout to gain the most out of them.
C] What to Eat After a Workout: Post Workout Meal
#1. Chocolate Milk
As tasty as it sounds, chocolate milk is equally nutritious for your body after vigorous training. It is suggested to have liquids foods over solids after a heavy workout. Thus, the carbs, protein and water content in chocolate milk will help you to regain energy faster and is the best cure for tired muscles.
#2. Sweet Potato
Rich in carbohydrates, potassium and protein, adding sweet potatoes to your post workout meal is a great choice. This superfood also contains a healthy dose of fibre which is good for the muscle-building process.
#3. Nut Butter and Toast
Peanut butter sandwiches have great benefits as they include proteins that help boost the recovery of muscles and strength after a workout. This go-to healthy workout snack if consumed regularly can also reduce the risk of heart-related diseases.
#4. Grilled Chicken or Tuna/Salmon
Tuna and salmon are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins that is required by the body post workout. Grilled chicken is also a great post workout nutrition meal that provides necessary nutrients, mainly protein, filling you up post a workout session without making you feel bloated.
As mentioned above, liquids are easier to digest compared to solids after a workout. As such, collect your favourite ingredients and mix them into smoothies. This will help you hydrate after your rigorous training. Just make sure to control the sugar levels and calorie intake.
#6. Brown Rice and Veggies
A combination of brown rice and veggies provide you with carbs and nutrients post workout. It also offers vitamin B-6, which helps boost the immune system. Most importantly, this combination helps you to replace the lost minerals & vitamins post a workout.
#Staying Hydrated Before, During and After Workouts
Drinking plentiful water is important for optimal daily functioning. During exercise, you need to up your water intake quotient. Why? Because during this time, you sweat a lot which can deplete the water levels in your body. This can lead to dehydration and fatigue. Hence, to avoid this, it is recommended to drink enough water during, before and after your workout to keep your body fluids in balance.
- Before you start, drink 2-3 ounces of water every 15 minutes.
- Drink up to 4-6 ounces of water during exercise to stay hydrated.
- Increase this to up to 10 ounces after the workout.