Pre and Post Workout Diet

Should I eat before or after a workout?

Generally, when preparing for a work out depending on its intensity, carbs are what you need along with protein. Whether it is a full on work out in the gym, a five mile hike, an hour’s yoga session or a swim, you want carbohydrates to give you a slow and steady energy release.

It is said the best thing to do is eat a meal high in carbs, a good amount of protein and low in fat, no later than three hours before your exercise or a snack up to 45 minutes before.

The wonderful thing about carbohydrates is they contribute to glycogen in the body which is needed for storing energy.

Hence, the time you eat, the quantity and content of the food you eat is important before a work out as well as afterwards.raspberry, strawberry, smoothie, shake, whey, protein, healthy

Favorite snacks before a workout

One of my favorite pre-work out snacks is peanut or almond butter, on high fiber low sugar (less than 3 grams per slice) toast and banana.

This is perfect in the sense it is quick and easy to make, and it provides a mix of simple and complex carbohydrates for the body to ingest. This means that energy in line with your work out, is released in a slow and steady fashion.

Bananas are also fantastic for raising levels of potassium which get depleted when the body sweat. To boost protein levels a protein shake is also good to have with it.

This is the best way to ensure the body gets a good dose of well rounded carbs, lean protein, healthy fats and fluids.

Finally a good protein shake is good for both your blood cells and muscles as it brings much needed nutrients and oxygen to them.

Other quick and healthy ideas include: low fat yogurt with berries (blueberries have the highest antioxidants), a whey shake, Greek yogurt with bananas, cottage cheese with berries or apple slices with natural almond or peanut butter. As long as you eat something before you exercise, that is the main thing.

Peanut butter vs. Almond butter

Many nut butters have similar calorie content. Both a tablespoon of almond butter and peanut butter contain close to a hundred calories. The benefits of almond butter are threefold:

Almond butter contains almost three times as much vitamin E as peanut butter. Vitamin E is an antioxidant which helps reduce the amount of plaque in the arteries.

Almond butter compared to peanut butter has 7 times more calcium, which is great for your bones and teeth.

Peanut butter has half the amount of iron that almond butter has.

Almond butter may cost more, but many would say the benefits are worth it.

Who says never eat before a workout?

Facts show that a healthy snack like the one described above, 45 minutes or so before

A work out should be all you need or have a healthy meal with carbs and protein at least three hours beforehand. Many believed for sometime that going with out food before your exercise routine would enable the body to burn more fat.

Avoiding food before a workout means not only you haven’t fueled your body, but blood sugar can get so low you can feel lethargic, dizzy or light headed.

What to eat after a workout?

A good gauge for when to eat after a workout is thirty minutes to two hours post workout . If you’re just trying to stay slim or lose a few pounds, you can take your time and wait about an hour after your workout.

If you are trying to build muscle then it is best to eat sooner. It’s best to eat protein as that helps helps your muscles in their recovery and become stronger. This can come from a protein shake, a glass of chocolate milk, string cheese with an apple, almonds or a hard boiled egg.

We don’t need to be obsessive about ratios with nutrients, calories and fat content, the vital thing to remember is we can’t shove just anything we want into our mouths because the work out is over.

After a work out many of us are hungry but it is important to select foods with low fat and high protein to give your muscles a chance to recover and refuel.

I hope you find these tips useful, as always I invite you to write in and share your experiences and advice on this topic or any others we have covered.

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