Fueling Your Workout
Things to Eat Before and After Exercise
Eating before and after engaging in any types of exercise is just as important and beneficial for your body as doing the actual physical activity. But eating certain things before and after a workout can leave you feeling tired and queasy. Whether you are training for an upcoming competition or exercise for general health and wellbeing, check out the information below to learn more about properly fueling your body and your workout!
Before you exercise:
Eating at least one hour before you exercise is key, this allows your body to start digesting food which will minimize any gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort while you exercise. It is also soon enough for your body to feel full while you exercise. The focus here should be carbohydrates. Your body uses carbohydrates as a main source of energy so eating something rich in carbohydrates is key. Avoiding things that are high in fiber, fat, and even protein before you exercise is also important. Although each of these nutrients are essential for good health, they take a little longer to digest, this can leave you feeling some GI discomfort while you exercise.
Here are some great (and yummy) examples of pre-workout snacks:
White toast/bagel/english muffin with fruit preserves
Cereal with milk (dairy or non-dairy)
After you exercise:
Eating after a workout is key to helping your body refuel and repair itself. Within the first 30 minutes after exercise, try to find something that is low in fat and fiber, and has equal amounts of protein and carbohydrates. Protein will help your muscles repair, and carbohydrates will help your body rebuild your energy stores. When you eat more carbohydrates than your body can burn, your body will store them in muscles to use later on for energy. Keeping your carbohydrate stores high can help you exercise for a longer period of time without fatigue. Some people may find it difficult to eat right after a workout due to GI discomfort though, so finding something liquid can help reduce some of this pain.
Here are some great (and yummy) examples of post-workout snacks:
Yogurt and nut butter
Cheese stick and grapes
Hummus and pita
Turkey and cheese rollups
Next time you plan on doing some exercises, remember to take care of your body and feel strong!