What to Eat Before and After a Workout

We all know that what you eat is important. But what about when you eat especially when you are on a workout routine?

Apart from that, not fuelling up before you workout is like driving a car on empty. You won’t have enough energy to maximise your workout and will limit your ability to burn calories. Thus, it’s important to eat and drink enough before you start your workout.


Before Workout

  • Ensure that you eat healthy carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereals (with low-fat or skim milk), whole-wheat toast (without the fatty cream cheese), low-fat or fat-free yoghurt, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
  • Make sure that you avoid saturated fats and even a lot of healthy protein. This is because these types of fuels digest slower in your stomach and take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles.
  • If you only have 5-10 minutes before you exercise, eat a piece of fruit such as an apple or banana. But always do try to eat at least half an hour before your workout.

Important tips: Consume easily digested carbohydrates, to make sure that you don’t feel sluggish.

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Types of food to eat before workout: consume protein-rich food to store energy such as egg white omelette with spinach and skim or soy milk. Smoothie or protein powder. Greek yoghurt with banana, walnuts, apple, and honey.

During your workout

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  • Hydrate with water. Whether you’re a professional athlete who trains for several hours or you have a low to moderate routine, keep your body hydrated with small, frequent sips of water.
  • You don’t need to eat during a workout that’s an hour or less. But, for longer, high intensity, vigorous workouts, eat 50-100 calories of carbohydrates every half hour.

Types of food to eat during workout: raisins, an energy bar or a banana.

After Your Workout

  • Refuel with fluids. Drink water, of course. But feel free to blend your water with 100% juice such as orange juice, which provides fluids, carbohydrates, and potassium.
  • Eat food rich in carbohydrates. You burn a lot of carbohydrates which is the main fuel for your muscles when you exercise. In the 20-60 minutes after your workout, your muscles can store carbohydrates and protein as energy and help in recovery.

Type of food to eat after a workout: Eat protein-based food to help repair and grow your muscles, including a whole grain bagel, baked potato, peanut butter sandwich, and avocado stuffed with cottage cheese.

It’s important to realise that these are general guidelines. Everyone has different digestive systems and it depends on your type of workout. Therefore, always consult with a nutritionist or dietician or health coach before you decide on your workout meal plan. So, do what works best for you.


Photo Credits: Besthealthmag, Redmart, Shutterstock and Unsplash 


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