What to eat before and after a workout
Nutrition Before & After Workouts is Vital
When following an exercise plan, whether it’s to lose weight or gain muscle, your nutrition plan becomes even more important. The foods you eat before and after your workout play an important role in your performance and recovery. Equally as important is when to eat before and after a workout. To ensure you get the best bang from your workouts, make sure you know what foods work best for your goals!
Before Your Workout
Not eating the rights foods, or not eating at the right time, before a workout can sometimes make you feel sick or tired. However, when you eat the right foods, you give your body energy to get you through tough workouts and nutrients to support muscle building.
Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do before your workout:
- Have your big meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) 2 to 3 hours before your workout with a good amount of protein, carbs, and fat.
- An hour before your workout, you’ll want to have a healthy high carb snack (around 35-50 grams depending on how long you plan to workout)
- Good pre-workout snack choices include: smoothies, fruits, sweet potatoes, gluten-free granola or oatmeal, or high-carb protein bars.
- Avoid fats and foods high in fiber, like legumes, 2 hours before as it takes your body longer to digest and can upset your stomach.
After Your Workout
Refueling your body with nutrients after you’ve put it to work is the only way to support muscle growth and recovery and, the best way to avoid muscle breakdown. Most people will wait until dinner time, or breakfast if their workout is in the morning, to get their meal in after a workout but this may be too long.
Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do after your workout:
- Get some carbs and protein in your body within 45 mins of your workout.
- 20 – 30 grams of protein and 40-60 grams of carbs is ideal . Protein shakes with fruit, chicken and sweet potatoes, or egg whites and veggies all make great after workout meals.
- It’s ok to have some fat in your post workout meal, so long as you’re still consuming protein and carbs to replenish glycogen stores.
- Eat a bigger meal within 2hrs of your workout with more protein, carbs and fat.
Remember, not all carbs are bad. Find whole foods that are nutrient-dense to support your health goals. By nourishing your body with the right foods before and after your workouts, you’ll help increase your performance, boost your metabolism, and support muscle growth and recovery. You can find some great sources of protein at youngevity.com to support a variety of diets and needs.