What to Eat Before and After Your Workout can be important to how you feel when you exercise, whether it’s a casual workout or training for a competition.
Knowing when and what to eat before and after your workout can make a difference in how you feel and the results you achieve. Understand the connection between eating and exercise is a huge factor in results and how you feel while you are working out.
Eating and exercise go hand in hand. When and what you eat before and after your workout can be important to how you feel when you exercise, whether it’s a casual workout or training for a competition.
But here is a News flash: Most of the fuel we use during exercise doesn’t come from the food we’ve recently eaten. It actually comes from the carbohydrates (called “glycogen”) and fat that’s stored in your muscles, liver, and fat cells
This means that if your overall diet is filled with clean fibers and high quality protein (not a diet heavy in carbohydrates) then it is adequate to keep your fuel tanks topped off, you may not need to eat anything before you work out.
So if you eat a healthy lunch and are not hitting the gym until 6:00 you should have enough fuel to sustain you through your workout, especially if you are only working out for an hour.
However, for example if you eat dinner at 6:00 p.m. and you workout at 6:00 a.m. the next morning you will need to fuel up a bit before the workout. Most of that energy you got from that dinner has been used up and your blood sugar may drop during the first 15-20 minutes of your workout.
That drop in blood sugar can cause tiredness, mild dizziness, or even faintness, especially if your blood sugar was already low, but eating something beforehand can help prevent this. Pay attention to your body and if you feel that change in your energy level then make sure you eat something small within an hour of your workout.
Tips for What to Eat Before and After Your Workout:
- If you workout in the morning…
You need to eat within 30 minutes of waking up so you can jump-start your metabolism having at least 20 grams of protein has been suggested that you will burn more calories during the day. Try having a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, egg or egg whites or my Oatmeal Superfood Breakfast Bars—having something is your system is better than nothing.
- If you workout in the afternoon…
Eat a light snack if you are hungry before your workout. An apple with peanut butter or almond butter is a great choice.
- After your workout…
Eat within 30 minutes after your workout so your body doesn’t start burning muscle. This is the optimal time to help with muscle recover and to help you avoid overeating later in the day. Protein should make up the most of this meal or snack with plenty of fluid If you don’t have time for a meal grab a handful or almonds or whip up a Blueberry Avocado and Spinach Superfood smoothie. Even If you’re not hungry, you should at least have a small snack. This will prevent you from waiting too long to eat and then overeating because you feel starving.
Making sure that your body is getting protein at this crucial time helps you to not only help keep the muscle, build muscle it also keeps your metabolism revving, which means more calories burned.
How do you fuel up before a workout?
Share your tips and favorite pre and post workout snacks in the comments below. I would love to hear about how you’re keeping yourself healthy.