What Should I Eat Before and After My Workout?

October 8, 2012

Before the workout

Don't count on last night's dinner to fuel you for a morning workout.  if you plan on exercising within an hour of eating, choose a light snack rather than a full breakfast. It's important to put the emphasis on carbs for energy, but It might be advantageous to have a little protein, as well.  Light meals or snacks might include a banana or whole grain toast with peanut butter, yogurt, milk with wholegrain cereal or protein shakes with fruit.

 

The general rule is to eat large meals 3-4 hours before exercise, small meals 2-3 hours before, and small snacks an hour before exercising.  It's tough to workout when you haven't consumed some energy because you will have no energy to expend; the result is feeling weak and sometimes shaky. On the other hand, if you eat too much, you might feel sluggish or even develop stomach issues.

 

After the workout

After a workout we want to refuel so that we help our muscles recover and replace glycogen stores. It is recommended to  eat a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within a couple of hours of exercise. Sandwiches with meat, string cheese and apples, nuts and dried fruit or a regular meal that includes a meat, starch and cooked vegetable or salad are examples of effective choices.

 

How much should we eat after a workout

How much you should eat before and after exercise depends if you are training for marathons or walking a couple of miles. The intensity of your exercise will dictate how much and how often you eat. Make sure to get a nice combination of protein and carbs at each meal and eat until you are comfortably full;  don't let your hunger level get so low that you are ravenous. If you are participating in a weight training program, you might want to increase your protein intake to help build and repair muscle. finally, don't forget to stay hydrated with plenty of water. Sports drinks can help maintain the body's electrolyte balance for those that train intensely for more than 60 minutes.

 

Every body is individual and reacts differently. Try logging the foods and time that you eat, before your exercise. After your workout, log how you felt during the workout. Soon you will identify what works for you! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Disclaimer: This program is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness or disease. The information provided in this program is for general educational purposes, has not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA and is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietician or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.  Participation in this challenge does not constitute a client-coach relationship.