Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting out, what you eat before and after a workout can make a big difference in your performance and recovery. The right foods can help to boost your energy levels, improve your endurance and speed, and aid in muscle recovery. Conversely, eating the wrong foods can leave you feeling tired and sluggish, and can even lead to weight gain. Here are 8 a few suggestions:
- A high-protein breakfast: A protein-rich breakfast is a perfect way to start your day and give your body the fuel it needs for a great workout. Try eggs, Greek yogurt, or a protein shake.
- Fruit or vegetable smoothes: These are perfect for getting in some extra nutrients and energy before a workout. Try adding bananas, spinach, or berries to your smoothie for an added boost.
- Coffee: Coffee is a great way to increase your energy levels and focus before a workout. Just be sure to limit yourself to one cup, as too much caffeine can lead to dehydration.
- Small snack: If you’re working out later in the day, a small snack can help to tide you over until your post-workout meal. Try an energy bar, greek menu, a handful of nuts, or a piece of fruit.
- Sports drink: During and after intense workouts, your body loses electrolytes through sweat. A sports drink can help to replenish these, and also provides a boost of energy. Our bodies use salt to maintain many important functions. For example, we need it to absorb water, maintain fluid balance, help with nerve and muscle function, and help with blood pressure regulation.
- Post-workout meal: Within 30 minutes of finishing your workout, be sure to eat a meal or snack that contains both protein and carbohydrates. This will help to repair your muscles and replenish your energy stores.
- Protein shake: A protein shake is a quick and easy way to get in some extra protein after a workout. Just add milk or water and your favourite protein powder, and blend. If you want to make a post-workout shake, even more, filling and satisfying, add some fruit, nut butter, or oats.
- Water: It’s important to stay hydrated before, during, and after your workout. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and carry a water bottle with you to the gym. After an intense workout, your body needs adequate recovery time to repair muscles. Rest days are as important as workout days, and you shouldn’t skip them.
Eating the right foods before and after a workout can make a big difference in your energy levels, endurance, and recovery. Be sure to include protein, carbohydrates, and fluids in your diet to get the most out of your workout.