What better to eat
Do you often think about what to eat before and after a workout? Do I have to eat at all? These are important questions, because proper nutrition can significantly change your energy levels, mood and athletic performance.
Morning – it all depends on the duration of training
Specific recommendations on what to eat, when and how much will vary depending on the time of physical activity, the type of workout and personal goals.
To maintain energy and build muscle, we recommend you consume both carbohydrates and protein before your workout, while we should avoid products high in fat and fiber as they can cause stomach upset and cramps.
If physical activity is early in the morning and will not last longer than an hour and the load is very light, it is unnecessary to eat. It will be enough if you drink a glass of water.
If you feel hunger, you should not ignore it. In such cases, even if you only have 10-15 minutes before your workout, eat a small amount of fast-digesting carbohydrates, such as a small banana, a handful of grapes or a small portion of cereal.
Such small but carbohydrate-rich snacks can also promote a feeling of relaxation after a workout.
If your morning workout lasts more than an hour, you should always eat a small amount of easily digestible carbohydrates.
Think of a light breakfast, such as half a muffin with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a few banana slices, an apple with a tablespoon of almond butter, or half a cup of yogurt.
In numerical terms, energy intake should not exceed 200 kilocalories (kcal).
Day – remember about lunch before training
When planning physical activity during the day, it is important that only two or three hours have passed since the last meal.
If you failed to have a good meal, you need to think about a snack worth 100 to 200 kcal and order it 60 to 30 minutes before training.
If you are going to do cardio training, your meal should be higher in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat.
Here are specific examples: whole grain tortillas with peanut butter and squeezed bananas, half a sandwich with poultry or oatmeal with fruit and nuts.
If you plan to do strength training, the proportions of nutrients are quite different: more protein, moderate amount of carbohydrates and low fat content.
Examples: a boiled egg and a slice of wholemeal bread, cottage cheese with fruit or Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts.
The best diet after a workout
For most people who do moderate physical activity (an hour or less), they do not need to take extra nutrients immediately after a workout to regain it, it will be enough to eat a normal meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein for the next few hours.
Another scenario is when you have done intense endurance or strength training or have several physical activities a day.
For recovery, it is then very important to take in carbohydrates during the first half hour after exercise, preferably with protein, to replenish depleted carbohydrate reserves and ensure muscle tissue regeneration.
Here are some ideas for a post-workout snack:
- Cottage cheese with sliced bananas;
- Wholemeal tortilla or toast with humus;
- Greek yogurt with walnuts and honey;
- Wholemeal crackers with cheese and dried figs;
- A couple of boiled eggs with toast and fruit.