If you go to the gym on an empty stomach or don’t eat for hours after working out, you may be doing yourself a disservice. The food you consume before and after your workout helps determine whether you have the energy for maximum benefits, recover faster, and build muscle tissue. There’s no right combination of macronutrients, but some generalizations. Everyone is different, so the snack should have a medium amount of protein, be high in carbohydrates, and contain a small amount of healthy fat.
The more intense the workout, the more you need pre and post-workout snacks.
If you’re doing moderate exercise, you don’t need a pre-workout or post-workout snack or meal as much. If you’re doing an intense workout, it’s vital. For a pre-workout meal or snack, the bigger the serving, the longer amount of time you need before you workout. General consensus is between an hour and two hours, but for a small snack, thirty minutes is enough. You should consume the post-exercise snack or meal as soon after your workout as possible. If it’s close to your dinner, breakfast, or lunch, wait until then.
The type of food you choose is up to you.
If you’re eating a meal, make sure it includes quality protein and a high amount of carbohydrates. Snacks are simpler. It can be something as easy as cottage cheese and berries or unsweetened applesauce. Other good pre and post-workout foods include nut butter on whole wheat or spread on apple slices. If you’re trying to lose weight, keep the calorie count of the snack between 100 and 200 calories.
Get fueled and ready before the workout and start building muscle tissue after you’re done.
Getting fuel to the muscles so you don’t crash and burn mid-workout is key to a successful session. A treat like a frozen banana dipped in melted semi-sweet bits and rolled in nuts is a good example of a food that fuels your workout and builds muscle tissue. Pitted dates stuffed with a nut or nut butter is another excellent snack. Don’t forget that meals should contain both protein and carbs. For instance, a big salad, vegetable and fruit sides, and a grilled chicken breast would be a good pre or post-exercise meal.
- Hold off on the fat, especially before you workout. Too much fat before you workout can make you sick. Skip heavy gravy, fried food, and butter.
- Smoothies make a good pre and post-workout snack. Add lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget the protein. You can use milk products or protein powder for it.
- Hard-boiled eggs sliced on avocado toast not only is delicious, but it’s also an excellent snack. When you mash the avocado, add a little lemon juice to prevent it from browning.
- Pair sweet potato wedges with chicken for a snack or as part of a full meal. Use leftover chicken or canned tuna to create a salad spread on whole wheat.
For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness