While working out is really important, eating right to fuel your muscles is equally important. Let’s put it this way when it comes to optimum health, nutrition takes the cake, even the cherry on the top. If there is no optimum nutrition you won’t be able to power your way to a muscled up fit body. That’s why this article comes in handy as this will tell you exactly what to eat before and after a Workout.
Optimum nutrition is not about eating more or even less, just enough to keep you going. A little less and you will feel awful and irritable, a little more and you will gain extra body fat, which is the last thing you want. Therein lies your nutritional journey, taking care of your body both before your workout and post your workout.
While there are many ready-made options available for you to take care of your needs, be aware of its contents as sometimes they are packed with things that do more damage to your health than good, such as sugar in all its forms, hydrogenated oils, additives, preservatives. It is advisable that you churn up a quick meal for yourself instead of resorting to the fancy-looking processed foods. The options listed below are easy to procure and easier to prepare so that you do not have to work hard in the kitchen before you work hard at the gym!!
What to Eat Before your Workout – Best Pre Workout Food
You have an intensive work out, a grueling sweat fest and you have to prepare your body for the same. It is important that you have enough energy to sustain for the entire workout and push for even more.
If you fail to fuel your body with a pre-workout snack, especially when you are lifting you miss out on an opportunity to push your body into a muscle-building (anabolic) state.
Your pre-workout fuel should ideally consist of proteins and slower-digesting carbs.
Pre-Workout Meal Ideas
Add this pre-workout meal idea to your meal plan to aid fat-burning and build lean muscles.
- Eggs and Whole Grain Bread: Both eggs and whole grain bread are quick-digesting and do not make you too full before you work out.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal cooked in milk with nuts thrown in with good measure can work as one of the best pre-workout food as it is a great combination of protein and slow-digesting carbs.
- Banana slices peanut butter: This is a quick and delicious snack to fuel your workouts and help you stay full for longer.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a competent source of calcium, protein, and It provides a number of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals with very few calories so to speak.
- Sweet potato and green beans – Sweet potato is an amazing slow-digesting carb that keeps you full for longer, enabling you to perform your best at the gym.
- Brown rice with chicken: Brown rice is a slow absorbing carb and is full of fiber and is a great combination of chicken as its lean meat and chock-a-block with protein. One medium-size bowl of brown rice is enough with two pieces of chicken. Consume it 1-2 hours before training.
Best Food after Workout – Post Workout Food
Your performance usually suffers, if you don’t eat the right foods as soon as possible after training. This is the only way to maximize your workouts, and it is especially true when it comes to weight-lifting or strength training as you then end up losing muscle mass.
Another reason to eat something post your workout is to notch up the insulin level. This, in turn, would stall protein breakdown and encourage protein synthesis. So, if you skip on this all-important meal you will miss on these anabolic effects which equal gaining muscle mass.
As far as your post workout food is concerned, combine protein, fat, and carbohydrate and this will not only help your body recover but also helps rebuild tissue. Check out some of the important post workout meal ideas.
The ideal scenario should be grabbing something quick and nutritious as your body needs to fill up on the glycogen reserves that depletes itself during exercise. Consume your best post-workout food within half an hour of your work out. Having a full meal does not mean you eat more to compensate. You should have a full meal two to three hours after your workout.
- Brown Bread Sandwich – While sandwiches are not always healthy, make it healthy by swapping the mayonnaise with the hummus. Stuff with loads of veggies to make it even more nutrient-rich and fiber-full.
- Eggs: You can never go wrong with protein-packed eggs as it helps in muscle growth. Add more vegetables to make it an ideal post-workout meal option.
- Avocados: Avocados with its impressive nutritional profile is enjoying its popularity status among the most nutritionists and fitness fanatic people and not without legit reasons. It is packed with Vitamin B, which metabolizes healthy carbohydrates and proteins. Have it on your toast, blend it in a smoothie, the options are endless.
- Whey protein: Whey protein is a popular drink among gym goers and it raises the insulin level helping the muscles absorb glucose and fill up energy reserves. It has the right combination of amino acids and can be consumed either with water or milk and is certainly one of the best pre-workout food for muscle gain.
- Cherries: An antioxidant-rich food that helps in providing relief in muscle soreness, the one you typically get after an intense sweat session at the gym or home.
- Beetroot juice – While most men and women prefer fruit juices post their workouts, beets are a gem that you must rediscover as a potent fuel for your post-workout needs. It is nutrient rich and aids in muscle recovery after a workout. Working out increases muscle soreness and one easy way to get rid of the feeling is by drinking a glass of beetroot juice after a workout.
The fastest and easiest way to improve your athletic performance is by using pre-workout supplements (learn more about it here) which can also help you save time during your morning routine. There are a number of pre-workout options and it’s recommended to choose one based on the level of your training intensity, your goals, and tastes along with some health specificities.
So, make the most of your workouts with the right foods both pre-workout and post-workout foods and watch yourself transform!