Fuel sources for your workout
May 3, 2012 / 5:00 am
The importance of fuelling your body with proper foods and nutrition before and after you exercise is essential to not only ensure you have energy to carry on through a demanding workout, it is also necessary to help your muscles recuperate before the next rigorous workout! There are many questions on what foods to eat and when to eat before your workout! Let's break it down:
The closer to your workout, the more you want to focus on eating carbohydrates rather than fat or protein. Carbohydrates are digested in the small intestines, whereas fat and protein are broken down in the stomach. This means cramping and indigestion are more likely when you work out with a belly full of fat or protein-rich foods. Organizing your meals before your workout may be a smart idea! Rule of thumb to follow: The less time until the workout, the less you should eat!
Did you know that the body takes 4-6 hours to digest fat, about 3 hours to digest protein and 2 hours to digest carbohydrates?
Having a large meal right before your exercise may cause you to experience nausea and feel sluggish, with no energy to put into your workout. However, exercising on an empty stomach won’t make you feel much better as skipping meals before exercising can cause low blood sugar which can make you to feel weak and lightheaded. Having a small meal or light snack of energy foods such as digestible carbohydrates can help prevent the low energy symptoms of hunger during exercise and keep you from depleting your energy too quickly. Doing this will not only energize you for your workout, it can actually increase your fat-burning potential!!
Here are some healthy snack ideas that will energize you for your workout!
- Bananas or other fresh fruit
- Fruit smoothies
- Whole-grain bagel or crackers with peanut butter
- Granola bars
Planning a meal before your workout? Ensure 3 hours is given for digestion of a larger meal, 2 hours for an average size meal!
Directly after a workout it is beneficial to consume protein. Whey protein shakes are digested by your body much quicker than a solid protein food source for two reasons:
- Liquid meals digest faster than solid food meals.
- Whey protein is the fastest digesting form of protein there is.
Proper balanced meals after exercise is just as important! Having a balance of carbs, protein, healthy fats and electrolytes including potassium and sodium would round off a great post workout out meal. Ensure this meal is consumed no later than to 2 hours after your workout.
Taking the extra step of eating the proper foods will maximise your effort in the gym, not to mention help you repair those hard worked and earned muscles!
Read more Kasie's Health & Fitness Tips articles
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- Optimum health May 2
- Meditate your way to better health Apr 18
- Are you sweating during your workout? Apr 4
- No more plateaus! Mar 21
- Power thoughts Mar 7
- Benefits of exercise & mental health! Feb 21
- How's your posture? Feb 7
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