Note: If you are short for time, simply check out our best recommendation of the best meals for pre- and post-workouts.
Whenever you work out, you need to look at your body as a vehicle whose engine must be always up and running in a smooth manner. And the way to achieve this vision is to take the right drinks and eat the proper meals at the right times and in the right quantities.
Experts like the American College of Sports Medicine advice that in order to improve recovery time, maximize exercise performance, and maintain the concentration of blood glucose during exercises, adequate fluids and foods should be consumed before, during and after exercise. They further advice that during and after exercises, athletes should strive to balance any losses of bodily fluids by drinking sufficient fluids and being well hydrated before they start.
Other fitness experts advise that there are no hard-fast rules to follow and neither should they adhere to a rigid schedule. But when it comes to getting the most out of your workout, there are some things that must be done by every athlete before, during and after their routines.
Fuel up before your workout
Can you imagine driving a car when it is empty and without any fuel? That is what it is like to not fuel up before your workout. You do not only limit yourself from the ability to burn calories but also you would not have enough energy to maximize your workout.
Two hours is the ideal time for any athlete to fuel up. And to get the much-needed fuel you can do the following:
· Avoiding saturated fats and a lot of healthy protein — this is because these types of fuels digest slower in your stomach and take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles.
· Hydrating with water.
You can eat a piece of fruit like a banana or an apple if you have just 5–10 minutes before starting your exercise. In order not to feel sluggish, you should focus on consuming carbohydrates that are easily digested.
Make a Pit Stop during your workout
Always keep your body hydrated with small, frequent sips of water. And this pertains to everyone that is a fitness enthusiast, whether you have a low to moderate routine or if you are a professional athlete who trains for several hours.
Fitness experts note that if your workout is not more than one hour then there is no need to eat. However, carbohydrates like banana, raisins, and low-fat yoghurt which contain 50–100 calories should be eaten every thirty minutes if your workout is vigorous, highly intensive and lasts longer than an hour.
Refuel your tank after your workout
As a fitness enthusiast, you should always remember to refuel after your workouts. You can do this with:
· Protein — in order to help repair and grow your muscles you should always eat things that have protein in them.
· Carbohydrates — whenever you exercise, the main fuel for your muscles are carbohydrates. And they get burnt in large quantities during your workouts. Your muscles can store protein and carbohydrates as energy and help in recovery in the 20–60 minutes after you finish your workout.
· Fluids — of course, you must drink water. But you can use fluids like orange juice which provides carbohydrates and fluids to blend your water since it is 100% juice.
The above are merely guidelines that can be applied in very general ways. A lot would depend on what kind of workout we are performing as well as the fact that we all have different digestive systems.
This means that the two crucial points to keeping your body engine performing at its best are: knowing the exercises that you put your body through and knowing the nutrition that you put into your body. So do what works best for you.
It’s important to realize that these are general guidelines. We have different digestive systems and “a lot depends on what kind of workout you’re doing,” Platt said.
So do what works best for you. Know that what you put in your body (nutrition) is as important as you what you do with your body (exercise). Both are crucial to keeping your engine performing at its best.
For any athlete or fitness enthusiast who is short on time and wants a fast way to get the much needed energy boost and muscle gains, then our best recommendation of the best meals for pre- and post-workouts would surely help them achieve their fitness goals.
Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a medical expert. As such, the views I have expressed above should not be taken as professional medical advice. They are simply my own opinions of what has worked for me in my on-going journey to become healthy and fit. Always consult your doctor. Also, you should assume that some of the links contained in my article are affiliate links. This means that if you do choose to purchase any of my recommendations I would be compensated by the affiliate network at no extra cost to you. Thank you.