What you eat before and after your workout will determine how fast you lose or gain weight. The basic tenet of eating while working out is to go light before a workout and eat a wholesome, energy packed meal after the workout when your body is literally starved of nutrients.
The one-hour period after a workout is critical and is called as the golden hour. This is the time when you need to fuel and replenish those overworked muscles to help them grow and transform. Here are some popular pre-workout and post- workout foods that you must include in your diet.
4 Important Workout Foods
Pre- Workout foods
It is important to eat a light snack an hour before you work out as it helps to give you the much-needed energy. Do not stuff yourself with food. Here are some of the foods you should be eating 45 minutes prior to your workout.
Fruit is a rich source of carbs, fructose, vitamins and minerals and it is just what your body needs before an intense workout. Stick to calorie dense fruits like bananas, apples and grapes.
A small banana or a handful of grapes is loaded with potassium, which also helps to maintain the electrolyte balance in your body. You can also have fruit in the form of a smoothie. Mash a banana with a small glass of milk and honey and give it a whisk in your blender. It gives the right energy fix.
Whole Grain Sandwich
Another good pre-workout food that you can eat is a whole grain sandwich. Have one slice and use nutritious fillings like low fat cheese, mustard or tomatoes and lettuce. The sandwich will keep you happily sustained and will ensure that you are loaded on energy to help do your workout.
As said before, eating a balanced, full and nutritious meal after a workout is crucial. The body falls short of major proteins and amino acids along with glycogen reserves, which are majorly depleted.
Hence, it is necessary to replenish these reserves immediately. Here are some of the must-have post workout foods that will aid in fat loss and muscle development.
Protein is essential to help repair the worn out tissues and muscles. Have a small portion of lean protein in the form of grilled chicken, fish, eggs or whole pulses.
Chicken and fish are the best choices for non vegetarians. Vegetarians must have soya, tofu or cottage cheese to get the maximum from their workouts. Make sure your lean protein is cooked with minimal oil preferably olive oil.
A portion of complex carbs must be included in your diet to help restore the loss of glycogen. Complex carbs can be partaken in the form of oatmeal porridge, a side helping of multi-vegetable salad (use veggies like broccoli, mushrooms, baby corn, bell peppers, lettuce, spinach and potatoes), fruits and whole grains like bajra, ragi or jowar. These will give you energy and a healthy dose of good carbs.
A combination of protein and carbs is extremely important to have after a workout even if you do not include much of anything else. This will give you the lean and toned body that you aspire for.
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