Everyone’s body is different and has different requirements. But there are some workout foods that can be great to energize your body before and after a workout.
Workout Foods To Fuel Your Body
Although sports drinks, shakes, and smoothies are the drinks of choice, you can also opt for chocolate milk. It is a great combination of carbohydrates and protein which help you recover after workout. After a workout, it is recommended to eat foods which are high in carbohydrate and protein (around 15 to 25 grams) to replace energy (i.e glycogen) stores and help repair muscle tissue,. Low-fat chocolate milk is also hydrating and and replaces electrolytes and fluids that were lost during thw eorkout, so it is great for re-hydration. If you do not like chocolate, you can opt for a fruit based dairy smoothie.
Oatmel is a comfort breakfast food for many. It is also full of carbohydrates so it is a great pre-workout meal too. It’s rich in fiber (so it makes you feel full), low in fat, and rich in slow-digesting, carbohydrates that are blood sugar friendly. Oatmeal’s soluble fiber, called beta glucan, hreduces LDL cholesterol. To burn fat, you need an intense workout, so you need carbs to stay put throughout the class. Although oatmeal alone is sufficient as a pre-workout meal, you can also add some protien. One good idea is adding some peanut butter to your oatmeal.
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If you are getting out of bed straight into your workout clothes, and then head out for an early morning workout, you should ideally reach for something that digests quickly (such as a banana) or a liquid (such as coffee). Coffee is a great ergogenic aid (i.e it enhances performance) and it is a misconception that it is dehydrating. Caffeine, in fact, increases alertness, boosts the central nervous system, aids with mental sharpness, and reduces perceived exertion. Although coffee does give you a good boost, it is also recommended to eat something before the workout. Five minutes prior to your workout, have some orange juice or have a banana otherwise you will steer your body into breakdown mode. If you eat something, you will have more energy, and that will contribute to a better workout. If you feel the need for caffeine after your workout, choose a latte. A latte has carbohydrate and protein. If you are on a dairy free diet, you can ask for almond or coconut milk.
Eggs are great recovery food and great as post workout snack. Eggs are high in protein (around 6 grams per egg) and they are low in fat (around 75 calories). Eggs also make you feel full and help wwith weight loss. Researches have shown that eggs eaten at breakfast can control your appetite and reduce the amount of calories you eat in the next 24 hours. After your workout, eat eggs with some carbs like eggs and toast, or eggs and potatoes.
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A tad bit tarter thanyour traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt has less sugar, more carbs, and is rich in protein (12 to 17 grams per serving, depends on the brand). That is why it is great as both a pre workout and a post workout meal. If you are planning to eat your yogurt before the workout, find a brand you like and add some natural sugar like berries, honey or bananas. Sugar is like a fuel for muscles, so some sweet additions to your yogurt would be good for you. Plain yogurt will be great after the workout as it will provide the protein needed for building muscle.Muscle breakdown that happens after a workout should be repaired. The carbs that were just used can be replaced to restore glycogen in the body for your next workout. Do not eat store bought, sugary, fruity yogurt.
Bananas are great as pre-workout food because bananas are easy to digestible and are full of carbohydrates and potassium, that helps prevent muscle cramp. To burn fats, you need an instense workout, and for that, you need carbs. Top you yogurt with a sliced banana to get both protein and carbs.
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Accrding to studies, nuts can increase longetivity, make you healthier, and reduce the risk of chronic problems like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Studies have also shown that people who reach for nuts to snack on are able to maintain a healthy weight. In order to lose weight, you must feel full and satisfied so you wont reach for more food. So eat nuts but not too many. Nuts and nut butters have protein, carbs, and healthy fat, which is a great combination for an intense workout. Fat give you sustained energy. Energy is stored in the muscle and increases stamina. That is why greek yogurt is a great pre workout food food for an intense worjout or outdoor acivities such as a hike, a long run, or a bike ride. You need stamina for an intense workout. A muffin with peanut butter, a toast with peanut butter and banana, or a toast with almond butter are some great choices. You can even add peanut butter to your shakes and smoothies.
A handful of berries are a great pre-workout food, especially when you are short of time. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries all provide quick energy, and are abundant in antioxidants that is required to combat workout-related stressors. Berries have slow digesting complex carbohydrates that help you with the workout and are also rich in water, so you keep hydrated. Before a workout, your body needs food that settles well, is soluble, and is easy on the stomach. Berries are also abundant in anthocyanins and other flavonoids which may boost memory function. Top your yogurt or your oatmeal with some berries or have them with some nuts.
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Low-fat cottage cheese is has few calories and has protein and calcium. Low fat cottage cheese also helps with weight management. Before your workout, have some cottage cheese with berries or bananas to get protein and carbs that are needed for a workout. Cottage cheese is also a great post-workout food. If you are looking to cut down carbs, have some cottage cheese topped with pistachios. This will make you feel full and satisfied.
No matter what you workout goal is, you need proper workout foods to help you get through your workout. Inadequate nutrition and unhealthy food can stand in the way of you and the body you desire. Make a meal plan for yourself. Do weekly meal preps to make sure you are never out of the ingredients you require. If you do not have time to cook daily, cook food in advance. Keep your fridge stocked with workout foods like eggs and yougurt, which are workout staples. Keep track of your calories to ensure you are not going above or staying below your daily calorie requirements.
Which food is your workout superhero? Which foods do you avoid? Share with us in the comments below!