Which is better for getting fit: eating a meal before or after a workout?

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding food intake and workout – eating a meal before or after a workout? Physical activity is key when it comes to losing weight and keeping your body in good shape. But when you’re making changes to your diet to get to your ideal weight, you may wonder about the best time to eat. Turns out, you need to eat both before and after your workout to get the most benefits. The timing of your pre- and post-workout meal or snack is what’s most important, however. Consult your doctor before starting a weight-loss plan and making changes to your diet or exercise program.

Before-Workout Meal

A pre-workout meal should consist of mainly easy to digest, carbohydrate type foods in order to supply the energy requirements for the upcoming workout. Smoothies are a great way to get a fast, convenient and healthy meal in before an exercise session. Your smoothie can contain any fruit that you enjoy eating but the following work particularly well mixed in a blender: raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, peaches, grapes, and/or bananas. Cover the chosen fruit with water and blend until smooth.

Alternatives to add to your smoothies would be rice milk or almond milk, yogurt and/or ice if you like it cold and thick. If your workout is planned for first thing in the morning, you should also be consuming water prior to and during the workout, as the hours of sleep time were spent not consuming any fluids and the body will likely be in a dehydrated state. In case the workout is planned for later on in the day, continue to drink water throughout the day and have your regular meals at breakfast and lunch. If the workout is planned for a time that has been longer than 3 hours since your last meal, a light snack of fruit and a hand full of raw nuts is recommended – eaten about half hour to one hour prior to the workout.

After-Workout Meal

The primary goal of your post-workout meal is to supply your body with the right nutrients for adequate recovery and to maximize the benefits of your workout. There is a one hour window of time, right after the workout, which is important from a replenishing standpoint. Choosing easily digested foods will promote faster nutrient absorption. The following lists contain examples of simple and easily digested foods:

Carbs: Sweet potatoes, Chocolate milk, Quinoa, Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi), Rice cakes, Rice, Oatmeal, Potatoes, asta, Dark, leafy green vegetables.

Protein: Animal- or plant-based protein powder, Eggs, Greek yogurt, Cottage cheese, Salmon, Chicken, Protein bar, Tuna.

Fats: Avocado, Nuts, Nut butters, Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts).

It is important to get water and electrolytes after exercise to replace what was lost during your workout.

Sources & References:
www.fitday.com
www.livestrong.com
www.healthline.com

Healthy Food MasterBodybuilding & FitnessDiet & Weight LossCarbs,fitness,health,healthy diet,meals,protein,weight loss
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash There’s a lot of confusion surrounding food intake and workout – eating a meal before or after a workout? Physical activity is key when it comes to losing weight and keeping your body in good shape. But when you're making changes to your diet to get to...
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