Exercise and good diet go hand in hand. What you eat before and after exercising has an impact on your energy levels, weight and overall well-being. Eating the proper foods prior to your workout will maximize your performance and provide energy to complete your routine, whereas as post workout meals are important to restore energy, rebuild muscle and tissue that breaks down during exercise.
You can't outrun a bad diet.
The type of foods you should consume before and after a workout depends on the intensity and duration of your workout.
Short and Low to Moderate Intensity Workouts
The key to fuelling your body accordingly is to listen to your body. If you prefer working out first thing in the morning, you may get through your workout with nothing but water. If you need a boost of energy through your morning/afternoon jog or yoga class, opt for easy-digesting carbohydrates (i.e. fruits such as berries or apples). Your muscles use glucose from carbs for fuel so foods such as oatmeal or banana and peanut butter are digested fast and provide quick energy.
Weight/Resistance Training Workouts
When it comes to weight or resistance training workouts, opt for carbs and some protein. It is recommended to either eat a complete and balanced meal 2-3 hours away or a smaller meal an hour away.
Foods to Eat Before
- Smoothie with protein powder
- Crackers or piece of toast with almond butter
- Oatmeal with berries
- Greek yogurt with granola and berries
Foods to Eat After
Post workout meals should include both carbohydrates and protein, and should be consumed up to an hour after your workout to help restore energy and rebuild muscle and tissue.
- Omelet and with avocado and whole grain bread
- Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables
- Tuna salad on a whole grain bread
- Protein smoothie
Remember, when it comes to fitness nutrition, choose foods that will fuel your body and help with recovery. Listen to your body's needs and take note of how you feel before, during and after your workout.