Nutrition Before and After a Workout

Whether you are an elite athlete or simply just enjoy exercising, there is an extra benefit to eating healthy to support your exercise routine: reaching your optimum performance.  Over time, your body adapts and changes to your exercise routines and becomes healthier and stronger. What you eat before and after your workout impacts how well you are able to perform. Eating right allows you to delay fatigue or feeling of tiredness, promote recovery, reduce the chances of getting injured during your workout, and improve body composition and overall strength. Proper amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water are essential for you to reach your maximum workout goal.

Before your game, race, or workout, here are some ideas of snacks that are healthy and can give you that extra energy boost for your performance. You want to look for foods that are high in carbohydrates, and moderate to low in fat and fiber.  Make sure you give your body time to digest the quick snack. You will know about how much time you need before you can begin your exercise.  Snacks like protein sports bars, sports gummies, piece of fruit, handful of nuts and fat-free popcorn, and a peanut butter or jelly sandwich.

After your workout, you should look to have a meal or snack high in carbohydrates and protein. This will allow you to replace the carbohydrates lost during your exercise and use the protein to build muscle repair. Lean meats, whole grain bread and rice products, vegetables and low-fat dairy products are all great things to have after a workout. Finally, the most important thing you can do before, during, and after your workout is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You can detect your hydration status by checking your urine color (light yellow to clear means you are hydrated), and monitoring how much you sweat. All of these steps will lead you to a peak performing workout and ultimately will leave you feeling fit!


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