Fuel Your Workout – Tips from your Red Deer Personal Training Experts
What to eat and drink before, during, and after hitting the gym.
Just as cars need gas to drive, you need food to give you the energy needed to get through your day. And since exercise uses up more calories than most activities in your day, never attempt to exercise without fueling up. Eating before a workout will enhance your performance and improve your endurance, and thereby increase your calorie burn. Eating the right foods before a workout can even help you burn more calories during your routine. Refueling during and after a workout is also important to replenish lost energy and repair muscle damage.
What are the best pre- and post-workout foods and what’s the best time to eat them? You’re about to find out from your go to source for Red Deer personal training, 360 Fitness.
It may be tempting to work out before breakfast, but exercising without adequate energy stores can leave you feeling fatigued, drained, and unable to finish strong. A low-intensity or short workout will decrease the number of calories you’re able to burn. If you’re not a breakfast eater or can’t handle much food first thing, try a smoothie or meal replacement shake to regulate your blood sugar and replenished depleted energy stores.
An hour and a half to two hours prior to exercise is the best time to fuel up. The ideal pre-workout meal includes a balance of lean protein and healthy carbs. Protein helps build muscle mass and repair damaged muscle, while carbohydrates provide energy and keep blood sugar regulated.
In the event it’s been several hours since a meal, grab a small snack 10 to 15 minutes before your workout. This could be low-fat yogurt with banana, a hardboiled egg and apple slices, string cheese and a few whole grain crackers, peanut butter on whole-grain bread, or a protein bar. (Just be picky about what kind of protein bar you choose. Some are like candy bars and contain more calories than you’ll burn in your workout. Choose a protein bar that contains at least 5 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs, and around 200 calories.)
What you eat after a workout may be more important than what you eat before. We stress this big time at our Red Deer personal training studio. Strenuous exercise can damage muscle tissue and deplete your energy stores. Within 30 minutes of a workout, eat a healthy snack to repair muscle tissue and replenish your energy. Similar to pre-workout fuel, post-workout fuel should also include a balance of lean protein and carbs.
Many fitness gurus turn to chocolate milk as their go-to delight after a strenuous workout because of its high carb and protein content, but it’s definitely not your only option. Other effective choices include poached eggs on whole-grain toast, a whole-wheat pita with hummus, a protein shake with strawberries, oatmeal with raisins, or a bean burrito.
Don’t forget to hydrate your body with water before, during, and after exercise. Even though you may not sweat much, your body loses fluids during exercise. Therefore, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Sports drinks are advertised to help hydrate the body, replace electrolytes lost through sweat, and provide energy with extra carbs. However, they aren’t necessary and may not make much of a difference unless you’re sweating for longer than two hours.
Exercise isn’t an excuse to eat whatever you want. Fueling up on protein and carbs doesn’t mean a meal of steak and potatoes if you’re trying to lose weight. You still need to watch what you eat in order to create a calorie deficit. Choose healthy carbs like fruits, veggies, and whole grains and go for lean protein to get the most out of your workout. If you are looking for more Red Deer personal training tips please visit www.360fitness.ca