Believe it or not, the food you eat before and after workout can help you burn more calories and build muscle. Food can help you get through an exhausting workout and it can also help repair your muscles after you exercise. Many people though think that they should skimp on calories in order for them to lose weight and less fat. However, if you really want your exercises to complement your fitness goals, you should know what to eat before and after working out.
What to Eat Before Exercise
You need fuel and energy before you work out. Note though that you should have enough time to digest the food you eat, so don’t just go exercising right after you feed yourself. According to the author of The System for Health and Weight Loss who’s also a physiologist named Tomas A. Fox, fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains are the ideal foods to eat before you work out.
What you eat before you exercise should have some protein with at least 10% of it, some carbs with at least 45%, and fat with at least 20%. A sample of your pre-workout meal can include the following:
• ½ cup of brown rice with ½ cup of brown beans
• ½ cup of oatmeal that contains one cup of berries and you can add agave or stevia to sweeten it
• ¼ cup of apple and walnuts
• Banana with two tablespoons of almond butter
What to Eat After Exercise
Eating before you work out gives you energy, but eating after helps the body use glycogen, so you still have energy to perform other tasks. You need to eat and drink after at least 30 minutes when you are done working out. If you had an intense exercise though, you should provide at least an hour of rest before you ingest anything. This will help you recover and generate lean muscle tissue.
According to a chiropractor, consultant for the US Olympic Training Center in New York, and an exercise scientist named Jonathan Mulholland, you should have a 4:1 ratio for carbs and protein. You should also drink chocolate skim milk. You can also turn to your favorite protein bar to get the extra energy you need after exercising. If you only performed some mild workouts, you can have a light snack that will help you get through the day until you have your next meal.
The most important thing you should remember is to never skip breakfast. You may eat before working out and you may also do so after the session. But if you neglect breakfast, you will consume more calories, which will only put your workout efforts to waste.