Eating prior to working out isn't the "no-no" that many people seem to think it is. Reasons from stomach aches to fat gain all come up often when it comes to discussing food timing prior to exercise.
In fact, eating 30 minutes to 1 hour (even up to 2) before you plan to get your exercising done will actually provide you with some energy benefits that will have you questioning why you haven't tried it before.
To get the maximum benefits out of eating before exercise, you want to make the highlight of your pre-workout nutrition slower-digesting carbohydrates (think sweet potatoes, oatmeal).
Prior to exercise, carbs will help you get the most out of your workout. When working out after eating carbohydrates, your body taps into these new sugars first for energy, depletes them and then moves on to the older stores for fat burning.
In addition to carbs, you're going to want to eat some protein prior to working out. Protein is generally fairly easy on the stomach and will keep you full until you eat again. Protein is good for muscle growth and regeneration so it's ideal to have some running through your body as you're working out.
Prior to working out, you want to avoid a meal that is heavy in fat. Not only will this make you possibly feel a little sluggish but fats actually slow digestion and can lower blood flow to the muscles.
A slice of whole wheat toast with some turkey/chicken
A bowl of oatmeal with some blueberries
Some type of protein with a small sweet potato
Greek yogurt with a small handful of granola+berries
A protein bar
There's a reason that many large gyms have protein shake bars: you want to consume protein after working out. Protein after you workout will help with muscle synthesis, growth and recovery. Protein is the primary nutrient you want to ensure you eat after you finish training.
Next, make sure to eat some fast-digesting carbohydrates (think white rice, cereals, bagels). Eating carbs after your workout will replenish the glycogen you just depleted and spike your insulin which helps get the nutrients to your cells and repair your body.
Keeping your fats low after workout is essential. Eating fat post workout will actually slow down your muscle repair and inhibit recovery.
A protein shake with a banana
A bagel sandwich
White rice + chicken
A bowl of cereal with protein milk (mix protein+water/milk and use it as the milk)
A protein bar
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