Nutrition is by far the most important aspect that influences your overall performance during workouts. Deciding what to eat before and after working out will undoubtedly impact your level of performance and the gains of each exercise session.
However, the internet is a hub for misinformation and false claims spread by people who solely seek financial profit. For this reason, we decided to write this article to share with you some of the best foods to eat before and after working out, as well as some general nutrition tips.
Decrease the time gap between meals
The scheduling of your meals is as important as the type of food you consume. You see, the time at which you consume your meals will have a direct impact on the function of your endocrine system.
By reducing the gap between meals, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) increases, which allows you to burn more fat during and after working out. If you are not familiar with BMR, here is a quick definition:
BMR is a metabolic parameter used to measure the number of calories your body burns to keep your organs functioning.
It is dependent on multiple factors, including age, sex, body type, diet, and degree of physical activity.
Choose protein-rich foods
Protein is crucial to maintain your lean muscle mass and optimize your performance.
During a workout session, the muscles inflict microscopic tears that trigger a repairing process. However, instead of only regenerating the damaged tissue, the body secretes growth hormones to make the muscles grow bigger for future demands.
For this reason, you should include a protein snack before working out to preserve a steady supply of amino acids in the bloodstream. As a general rule of thumb, consuming 2 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight is appropriate. For instance, if you weigh 70 kg, your optimal protein intake is around 140 grams per day.
Eat Your Veggies!
Vegetables are extremely rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
These compounds will make sure that your muscle fibers are functioning properly during exercise. Moreover, consuming veggies, especially green ones, before working out will aid in the process of removing toxins and lactic acid from your muscles.
Veggies also improve digestion, cognitive ability, physical performance, and energy expenditure. Therefore, it is preferable to consume vegetables in your pre-workout meal (2-3 hours before starting). Some examples include:
Avoid eating heavy meals
Consuming large meals before working out is a big NO.
When your gastrointestinal tract is loaded with food, blood circulation will get diverted to the small and large intestines. Consequently, your brain, heart, and muscles receive less blood, which makes you feel heavy, dizzy, and unwell.
As such, there are certain foods you will want to avoid before working out:
Most fruit juices
Pastries, cookies, and cakes
Fried, grilled, or broiled food
Exercising can have tremendous impacts on not just our physical health, but also our mental health. If you want to optimize your peak performance and promote muscle growth while working out, you will ultimately need to consume the right foods on both sides of your workout. If you have more questions about nutrition, workout plans, or if you want to have a check-up before deciding these things for yourself, schedule a visit with one of our physicians!