What to eat before and after a workout

Are you ready to hit the gym? Do you question what is the best food to fuel your workout? How about post workout? All the guys that look like they know what they are doing are drinking or eating something as they exit the gym. Don’t let all of your efforts in the gym be wasted by not fueling correctly. The body is a machine and, for example; requires replenishing of glycogen that you deplete from your muscles post workout. The following is my compilation of the top pre and post workout meals to help you to maximize muscle mass and capitalize on burning fat simultaneously.

Pre Workout:
Keep it a small meal. 1-1 ½ hrs prior to workout. You want your blood being used to fuel your muscles not breaking your food down. Munch on these for your best sweat session yet!!

pb cake

1. Before: Whole grain toast or rice cake with peanut butter and banana

When it comes to gearing up for workout, carbs are your friend. The key is to have a mixed bag of complex and simple ones so that the release of energy during your workout is slow and steady throughout your routine. Whole-wheat toast with fruit gives you both types of carbs with the bonus of being super easy to digest. Complex carbs will keep your motor humming, while the fruit adds an extra kick of energy. Bananas are perfect in raising potassium levels, which drop when you sweat a lot. For an added bonus, add a dash of cinnamon. The spice has been linked to stabilizing blood sugar and improving brain function and increasing metabolism.

yogurt

2. Before: Greek Yogurt and Trial Mix

Eat some yogurt, it’s easy on your stomach and when paired with trail mix can give you the little boost your body needs. Just make sure to choose a mix that is mostly nut and dried fruit based, low sodium. The healthy sugars from dried fruit provide that quick energy boost while seeds and nuts will keep insulin levels from dropping mid-workout. Just remember, a little bit goes a long way. Seeds and nuts are high in fat, which means they take longer to digest. Too many and you could start feeling sluggish and slow as you sweat.

smootie

3. Before: Smoothies

Time crunch? Headed to the gym, no problem. Stick with a smoothie. Not only are they quick to make, building your own blend has a bunch of workout benefits. To make it easy, use your favorite frozen fruit, a cup of Greek yogurt and some granola or oatmeal for a thicker consistency. If you’re buying one, make sure it’s made from whey or milk-based proteins. 10 to 20 grams of protein before exercising is plenty.

oatmeal

4. Before: Oatmeal

Oatmeal is your pre-workout buddy you never have to nag to exercise. It sticks with you throughout your workout by gradually releasing sugar into your bloodstream. Adding fruit to your bowl will help increase the fluid content of your pre-workout snack, keeping you hydrated.

apple

5. Before: Apple Slice with nut butter

If it comes down to picking out a pop tart or an apple for some pre-workout sugar, go for the apple. You’ll avoid a sugar crash mid-workout while stocking up on vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. To keep your stomach from growling, enjoy with a tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter on your slices. It squashes hunger and increases energy levels. Remember good fats help burn fat.

post

Post workout you should immediately have simple sources of carbohydrates and simple sugar to replenish your lost glycogen levels during the workout. You will most likely see people at the gym mixing protein shakes with juice. That is the proper way. If you mix it with just water you are not helping your recovery. Gatorade or chocolate milk work as well.

Post workout meal (different from above)should be consumed within 1-2 hours after your workout.

chicken
1. After: Grilled Chicken and Mixed Veggies

Your body is in recovery mode, so you need a nutrient dense dish. The lean protein and carbohydrates in chicken will fill you up without feeling overly bloated. Add some veggies in coconut oil to keep your heart in tip top shape.

egg

2. After: Egg White Veggie Omelet with Avocado

You already know eggs are a great source of protein and help aid in muscle recovery and growth. Switch it up from the usual scramble and make a veggie-packed omelet. Garnish with a few slices of avocado for fiber and monosaturated fats (the good kind!). Similar to olive oil, avocados can help your body better absorb fat soluble nutrients that your veggies have like vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins are stocked with antioxidants, the best boost for your body, inside and out.

salmon

3. Salmon with Sweet Potato

Aside from the usual protein perks, salmon has bioactive peptides, small protein molecules that play a role in inflammation reduction, helping to regulate insulin levels and give you joint support. Sweet potatoes pack in those complex carbs as well as help to restore glycogen levels, which get depleted after a workout.

tuna

4. Tuna , Hummus , and Spinach sandwich

If you’re a lunchtime exerciser, this is the sandwich for you. Tuna is low in calories, but high in protein and carbs. Hummus (or avocado) is a better-for-you spread over mayo or mustard, while also being high in fiber. And last but certainly not least, spinach is a produce powerhouse, handling everything from curbing your appetite to boosting your complexion and lowering blood pressure and inflammation

Hope this helps all my fellow swolemates. To gaining muscle mass everyday!!

Cheers,

Harj
xoxo

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