What You Should Eat Before And After A Workout
Eating The Right Food Around Your Workout Is Necessary To Get Fit
Since you started your fitness journey, you’ve often heard that nutrition is key to achieve your fitness goals. Whether you want to build muscle or lose your belly fat, the food you eat will be the main factor to help you get fit.
Indeed, nutrition is the most important component in obtaining your dream body. But consuming food before and after your workouts is probably the most important time to do so. The timing is crucial in order to get the best results. What should I eat before and after workout? And when should I eat it?
Gymaholic gives you all the information you need in order to fuel your body properly for optimal performance!
What To Eat Before A Workout?
Your body needs energy to perform any type of workout. During a workout, the main source of energy used is the muscle glycogen provided by carbohydrates, which make muscle contraction possible. Some people make the mistakes to do intense trainings on an empty stomach, which makes it harder to fuel powerful movements and endure long periods of exercises, so this is what you must avoid. In order to prevent it, you will have to consume carbohydrates and protein before your workouts.
Simple carbs or complex carbs? It will depend on the timing of your pre-workout meal.
When To Eat Before A Workout?
It’s recommended to eat a snack 30 minutes to 1 hour before a workout. Consuming carbohydrates and protein at this time will give your body nutrients to replace some of the fuel you will burn during your workout, so you are never running too low on available energy.
This snack will have to be:
- Low in fat (it slows down carbohydrate digestion)
- Moderate in carbs and protein
- High in carbs
Simple carbs can be a good option to fuel your body before a workout, but in moderation. The main goal is to obtain a quick boost in energy (Blood and muscle sugars) before your workout.
Therefore, if you’ve already eaten something and you aren’t hungry 1 hour before your workout, you don’t need to consume anything.
Food To Eat Before A Workout
- Tuna Sandwich
- If you don’t have a lot of time to eat before your workout (30-45 minutes), consume one or two tuna sandwiches, with white or whole wheat bread. It’s very simple, convenient and help you get the energy you need to kill your workout!
- Oatmeal Banana With Whey Protein Shake
- You have more time to eat before a workout (45 minutes to 1 hour), so you can eat something with a moderate amount of complex carbs.The oatmeal, the banana and the protein shake will allow you to fuel your body with carbs and protein!
What To Eat After A Workout?
After a workout, your body will be depleted in muscle glycogen. So you will need to refuel it with fast-digesting carbs (simple carbs) in order to start the growth process (also called anabolism). A lot of people forget to consume a small snack righ after the workout that contains simple carbs (a banana for example); it would which can help them get better results.
The period after a strength training, also called the anabolic window, which is when your body will need moderate or high protein food in order to build and recover muscle tissues.
When To Eat After A Workout?
Like mentioned earlier, the anabolic window is what drives our need to consume food after a workout. This is when muscle growth happens, during the 30 minutes to 60 minutes after you workout, research has shown that consuming protein in liquid form can be beneficial for your body, especially liquid, mainly because it’s quickly digested.
Food To Eat After A Workout
- Banana With Whey Protein
- A classic. You don’t have time to prepare anything for your post-workout and you want to obtain the best results. A banana straight after your workout, followed by a protein shake is always a good choice.
- Chicken Sandwich
- You probably don’t have the money to buy a whey protein supplement or you simply prefer whole-food meal. A simple chicken sandwich with white bread or whole wheat bread will help you obtain the carbs and proteins necessary to build muscle.
Eat A Meal After Your Post Workout Snack
After having your post-workout snack, your body is still slowly recovering from the intense workout you had. Therefore, it’s very common to feel very hungry after it.
A whole-food meal, containing carbohydrates and proteins 1 hour after your post-workout snack, will help you obtain the best results and make you feel better!
If you want to get lean muscle mass, it’s highly recommended to get your pre and post-workout snacks. In short words, before and after you workout are the most important meals in order to get a fit body (though every meal counts).
Let’s summarize what we just learned regarding pre and post-workout meals:
- Eating high carbs and moderate proteins will help you get the energy necessary to kill your workout!
- If your snack is close to your workout, you must choose foods you can digest easily.
- After your workout, your body will need carbohydrates to refuel its reserves in glycogen.
- Just after this carb snack, you must consume high-protein food. Your body needs it to repair and strengthen your muscles.
- The period mentioned above is called “anabolic window”, which usually lasts 30 minutes after your workout. It’s the most important meal!
- Remember to eat a whole-food meal 1 hour after your post-workout snack, your body will thank you.