We all know that exercising regularly is critical to stay fit and healthy. But do you know that you can maximize the benefits of your workout with the right nutrition? Yes, what you eat before, during and after your workout matters when it comes to getting the most out of your exercise. Eating right means knowing the type of foods you should have and also those to avoid.
- There is no ideal meal before exercise, though the focus should be on quality carbs, lean protein, low-fats, low fiber, and fluids. Avoid fried food and don’t experiment with something new. For quick energy, try carbohydrate-rich foods such as wholegrain cereals or bread, low fat milk, juice and fruit like bananas.
- Eat the right amount of food before exercise. If you overeat, it will leave you feeling sluggish, or even result in stomach cramps. Not eating enough may not give you energy to last through your workout.
- Don’t run or walk on an empty stomach. About 30 minutes before you step out, have a small snack that will give you some energy.
- Up to 60 percent of your body is composed of water and exercise can leave you dehydrated. Experts recommend you to drink to quench your thirst during exercise. Avoid drinking too much fluid. Intense workouts can damage tissue and a protein-rich drink after the exercise could help in repairing them. Have a slow digesting protein before bed to improve recovery. Remember that you need only 10-20 grams of protein to build muscle.
Make a note of how your body reacts to pre- and post-exercise meals and snacks so that you can make the necessary changes in your workout nutrition. With experience, you will be able to arrive at the right diet to ensure optimal performance.