Pre and Post Workout Meals for Better Health
Good health is about a balance of the nutrients you take in and the physical activity you perform to burn calories and build stamina. After getting a gym membership and preparing yourself with all the necessary diet for great workouts and weight loss, you may be excited to start the journey towards better fitness. But do you also have a meal plan to get the best of results with this new routine?
Here’s some information about some pre and post workout meals.
Eating before a workout
The pre-workout food should be a light meal, rich in protein and carbs that can provide you the energy for a vigorous workout. If you prefer to have a solid meal for breakfast, a recommended meal before your workout session will be half cup of oatmeal with a scoop of protein whey powder. This makes for approximately 30 grams of carbs and 25 grams of fast acting protein.
For those who don’t feel comfortable eating a solid meal before their workout, drinking a liquid meal in the form of a protein smoothie in the morning will be a good option. This should consist of 1 scoop of whey protein powder and 2 cups of water along with a banana. You can also include a source of complex carbohydrates instead of the banana. For this, replace the banana in your smoothie with cup of instant oatmeal blended into the smoothie. For optimal results, eat this protein rich meal at least 30 minutes before you start your workout.
Remember that it is good to eat only carbs for your pre-workout meal particularly when you have a session planned to lift weights. However, if you will only get into morning cardio without weight training, then it is good enough to have 1 scoop of protein whey powder with some water – this will be a good pre-workout meal.
Another alternative is to use a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement. These can provide amino acids for your muscles and help in ensuring that you do not sacrifice any muscle tissue through your cardio workout.
Will your workout be a cardio session? It is important to avoid carbs then because when you limit carbs, your body will tap into its fat stores for energy as you perform the workout. Instead, if you do at carbs before your cardio, your body will first burn up those carbs as a readily available fuel source before it taps into the fat sources. This can take 20-30 minutes or even more time. So just cut out the carbs before cardio, and your body’s fat burning abilities will improve.
Eating after a workout
A post workout meal should have more of fast acting whey protein with some amount of high glycemic carbs. This is needed to spike insulin levels, for the flow of nutrients into muscles and to refill the glycogen stores. You can go for a liquid meal after the workout as it is easier to digest than a solid meal. 2 scoops of protein whey powder with some fruit or any fast acting carbohydrate such as dextrose or maltodextrin will be a good post-workout snack.
You may want to have your shake right after the workout so it will be good to keep it ready in a shaker bottle that you can carry to the gym. Interestingly, the time after a workout is called “window of opportunity” and it is important to get the right nutrients for your muscles to help them recover and grow after the session.
There is lots of marketing that is being done and can be seen on the internet and television about what you should eat and what you should not eat. However, the fact is that most people are not aware of what to eat and what should not be eaten. Some people have a fear of becoming sluggish. Therefore they avoid eating certain specific types of food. Here are some essential tips that you must know before starting your workout.
Managing Your Eating Time for Better Workouts
There are millions of people who wake up in the morning, drink a cup of coffee and move out straight to the gym or for the work. However, this is not at all good for your health; drinking coffee on an empty stomach produces a hypoglycemic effect and can lead to a terrible workout. For performing at an optimum level, your brain and body require food. When you wake up early in the morning, you often suffer from low energy levels. It is better to refuel yourself with a pre-workout snack or meal that is light, low in calories, and low in sugar or fat. Also, try to eat a meal that includes slow-release carbohydrates and proteins. You can also drink coffee or tea with your morning meal. However, it is also important to consume and drink a sufficient amount of water so that you do not feel dehydrated before your workout.
Early Risers Post Workout
It is necessary to eat a good healthy meal after you have returned from a workout, regardless of what time of day it is. Your body requires it for the building up of muscle and also for replenishing the sources of energy as well. The post -workout snacks should contain a balanced diet which can be the combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. It is recommended that you should refuel yourself with 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates. You can certainly blend it with high-quality proteins as it can also help in the restoration of glycogen level.
There are some people who prefer doing working out in the afternoon. However, working out in the afternoon and in between two big meals, you should want to make sure that you do not overfeed your body, there are many people try to fill up their stomach will extra amount of food which is not at all desirable.
Midday Warriors Pre-Workout
If you have had a balanced meal in the last two hours, then there is no need to eat before starting the workout. A healthy meal before your workout is the need of the hour, especially if you are looking to maintain healthy living. Similarly, if you ate a balanced meal within the last two hours, then you do not need to eat before starting your workout. However, if it is longer than two to three hours than your last meal, then it is good to eat a snack or some food.
Midday Warriors Post Workout
If you have a desire to eat a reduced amount of dinner, then a post-workout snack should be less than 200 calories. It is also important to take a high-quality energy bar with three grams of fiber, or you can also eat a slice of whole wheat bread with nut butter.
There is an old argument which states that you must not exercise within three hours of going to sleep. However, the recent study reveals the fact that exercising before going to bed doesn’t always interfere with sleep.
Night Owls Pre-Workout
If you are working at night, then it is most likely that you have eaten a meal within the last two hours, so you must not eat anything before training. If you have not eaten dinner, then you should be sure to eat a small and light pre-workout meal.
Night Owls Post Workout
If you don’t have the desire to eat a big meal after doing a late workout and before going to bed, then it is better that should take some suitable amount of protein and carbohydrates for replenishing the glycogen present in the body. You can also drink a shake of peanut butter along with whole wheat, as it is very useful.
You should keep this fact in mind that whenever there is a discussion about exercising and eating, everyone is very different; therefore you have to analyze the situation with your experience about which eating habit will be best for you. Start by eating a healthy and balanced diet as only this will help your body to get ready for the workout. Also, include carbs in your diet as they help in fueling up your muscle and you will be ready for an exercise in a very short period. Furthermore, do not forget to eat a suitable amount of calories before a workout as you will need lots of those after a workout.