A Way to Become Healthy

What to eat pre and post workout : Best foods

When it comes to fuelling your body before a workout, it’s all about timing. You don’t want to exercise on an empty stomach, but you don’t want to work out with a full belly either.

Muscles store excess energy in the form of glycogen and protein and, when you work out, the body burns fuel from your pre-workout meal, then it breaks down glycogen stored in muscles. Within a few hours of working out, muscle protein drops and muscles begin to break down. However, within a 45-minute window, your body is the most responsive with absorbing carbohydrates and protein. Here are the best foods to fuel and reload the depleted muscles. The key is to know how much to eat – and when.

Best pre-workout foods:
  • In the morning: A small fresh juice. “This is a good choice if you are exercising early in the morning,” .It gives you a little bit of readily available energy without being too heavy.
  • In the afternoon: A salad or sandwich. “If you’re exercising in the afternoon, have some low-GI carbs at lunch,”. Try a salmon and lentil salad or a wholegrain sandwich with lots of salad.
  • In the evening: Fruit yoghurt or a handful of nuts. If you’re exercising after work, have a light lunch and either a small yoghurt or some nuts at around 4pm to give you a little boost before your evening workout.
  • At night: A light soup. If you’re exercising late at night, eat a light soup early in the evening with chicken, vegies and some noodles. A Vietnamese-style soup is perfect.
  • At any time: A piece of fruit. Bananas and peaches are great because they digest easily and they’re in season right now.
Best post-workout foods:
Greek Yogurt
  • Greek yogurt has double the amount of protein compared to regular yogurt and is a great source of carbohydrates. “Mix it with cereal or fruit,” recommends Dr. Louise Burke, head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport and coauthor of The Complete Guide to Food for Sports Performance: 
  • Peak Nutrition for Your Sport. Fresh berries pack micronutrients, which have been proven to help fight muscle soreness.
Sandwich wraps
  • “Wholegrain wraps are loaded with wholesome carbohydrates,” says Burke. Make yourself a turkey or chicken sandwich and add a bowl of soup on the side. 
  • This is a particularly great meal if you work out during your lunch break. “Wraps are portable so you can eat them on the way back to your office!” she adds.
  • If you’d rather have a salad after the gym, make sure you add some grains. “You need at least 1/2 cup of whole grains, so add some quinoa, brown rice, beans or pasta,” says Manuel Villacorta, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and founder of Eating Free.
Fruit salad
  • Fruits are not only loaded with carbohydrates, they also contain enzymes to help your body break down nutrients so they can be delivered to your tired muscles. 
  • Pineapple is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties to help your muscles recover. Kiwi aids with digestion and helps break down amino acids. “Plus, fruit offers a rainbow of anti-oxidants,” Burke adds.
Wholegrain breakfast cereal
  • Cereal is good any time of day: In the morning for breakfast or later in the day as a snack. 
  • Select a high protein, high fiber cereal, like Kashi Golean, which offers 30 grams of carbohydrates, 13 gram of protein and 10 grams of fiber.
  • It’s perfect for reloading the muscle energy stores. Make it more of a substantial snack and add dairy—milk or yogurt—suggests Burke.
Rule of thumb
  • “It all comes down to the carbohydrates and protein,” sums up Villacorta. “They’re the two key things your body needs—and right after you work out is when your blood circulates best.” 
  • If you’re main goal is to build muscle, eat at least 30 grams of protein and 30 to 35 grams of carbs within 15 minutes of your workout. 
  • If you’re just trying to stay in shape or shed a few pounds, you can take your time and eat within 45 minutes or an hour after your workout.


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