If you want to make the most out of your training sessions, what you eat before and after will make a big difference.
What you eat could make your workout better, whether you’re just starting to exercise or you’re an experienced athlete. Food will fuel your training and maximise your efforts and results.
What to eat before your workout?
Easy to digest and low fat food with good quantities of complex carbohydrates and proteins. Your muscles rely on carbohydrates for quick energy and on proteins to bring nutrients and oxygen to your muscles.
There’s no one meal that you need to eat before working out but you can focus on these 5 things:
1.- Low fat
2.- Quality carbs and protein
3.- Easy to digest
4.- Low fiber
For example: Oats, fruit, wholemeal bread, brown rice, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meats etc.
How much time before the workout?
Snacks or small meals: 1.5 hours
Lunch or big meals: Between 2 and 3 hours before your workout.
Allowing this time before your training is important because the nutrients need to be digested beforehand and available to be absorbed into the bloodstream for energy. Physical exercise right after a meal can delay the digestion, upset the stomach, coincide with the insulin peak etc., diminishing the sports performance.
What to eat during exercise?
If your exercise lasts up to 2.5 hours it’s recommendable not to eat solid food. From this time you can add some such as dried fruits or cooked fruits instead of raw for better digestion during exercise. Drink water and/or sport drinks (isotonic, hypertonic or hypotonic).
Water is often enough. But if you’re exercising for more than 60 minutes in hot, humid conditions or high intensity exercise sports drinks will help. They give you carbs and help to recover the minerals lost in sweat.
Recommended water dosage: 150 to 200ml every 20 minutes.
What to eat after training?
Carb-rich food to replace the glycogen and protein for muscle recovery and protein synthesis. Supplements can be used to enhance performance and fasten muscle recovery.
Examples: Fruits, lean meats, dairy or substitutes, quinoa, oats, eggs etc. Avoiding processed food when possible.
JINGA JINGA Nutritionist Consultant