For gym enthusiasts, working out is only half of the equation to achieve your health and fitness goals. Knowing what to eat before and after your workout is just as crucial in optimizing your performance, improving recovery time, and maximizing the results of your efforts. The right balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats is essential.
Eating Before Your Workout
- A balanced meal 2–3 hours before your workout can help fuel your body. This should include lean protein to improve muscle health, carbohydrates for an energy boost, and some healthy fats for sustained energy.
- If you’re short on time, consuming a small snack 30 minutes before could also be beneficial. This snack could be a mix of carbs and protein, such as a banana and a piece of toast with almond butter.
Eating After Your Workout
- Eating within 45 minutes after a workout is crucial. Your body is the most responsive to storing glucose in your muscles and liver during this time, so consuming carbs post-workout will replenish these stores and speed up recovery.
- Include lean protein in your post-workout snack/meal to help your muscles recover and grow. Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, chicken, fish, or protein shakes can be excellent choices.
Remember that your pre-and post-workout nutrition is as crucial as your workout itself, especially if you’re aiming for specific fitness goals. Pay attention to your body, adjust your nutritional needs as necessary, but ensure you are fueling and recovering efficiently with the right food choices.
When is the best time to eat before a workout?
Try to eat a balanced meal 2-3 hours before your workout. If you can’t manage a meal, a small snack 30 minutes before will also help.
What are some suitable food choices before a workout?
Whole grain toast with avocado, bananas, oatmeal with fruit, and yogurt with granola are all good choices. They provide the right balance of carbs and protein.
Should I also drink something specific before/after workouts?
Water is typically the best choice. Staying hydrated is crucial during a workout. Afterward, milk or a protein shake can help with recovery.