What you consume before your workout and your recovery day play a vital role in what you get out of your exercise. Similarly, it can impact your results.
Here are six foods that can give you energy for your workout sessions and help you recover better on your rest days.
Pre workout (Energy foods)
Timing when you eat certain foods can have an impact on your exercise routine. The intensity of a workout, duration and your body type can affect what you can eat before a workout to get the best results. Therefore, it is recommended to speak to a dietician who can guide you on nutritional meal plan that works for you. You can also check out our coaches and plans that can get you started for free.
It is recommended that you eat meals containing a healthy amount of carbs, proteins or fats 2-3 hours before you exercise to get the most out of your sessions. However, should you find yourself facing time constraints when it comes to packing in a pre-workout meal you could try:
Whole grains. Making a simple sandwich that is rich in whole grains and lean protein such as chicken breasts can be a good solution for people who are on the go. It will be a great source of energy, especially when you have an intensive workout planed.
Lean proteins. Try to avoid any processed meats but replace these with lean-cut beef and chicken. The aim is to have these in moderate proportions. You can opt to diversify your protein intake by including lentils, tofu, chickpea, and most variations of beans. Proteins are a great way to assist with muscle performance and repair.
Vegetables. Eating fruits or vegetables an hour or 30 minutes before you start your sweat session can provide you with the fibre and energy that you will need. It is also useful to assist with clearing up your digestive system. Include fruits such as apples, peaches, grapes or bananas can be a great source of energy.
Post workout (Recovery foods)
Muscle recovery is equally important. Giving yourself time to rest will give your muscles time to recover, decrease your chances of injuring yourself, and make you stronger to face your next session. Rest days are good for stretches and going for relaxing walks to help your muscles relax. Remember that the aim is not to sweat.
Restock on your carb intake.
The right carbs in moderation can help your body restock on glycogen which is needed for energy whenever you decide to exercise. Avoid consuming more than 0.5 - 0.7 grams of carbs per kg of your body weight after the first 30 minutes of your training. Foods such as quinoa, rice cakes, potatoes, pasta, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy green vegetables are a good way to restock.
Always remember to steam or grill your vegetables to maintain the nutrients. Including eggs, chicken or a protein bar can be beneficial for your protein intake which is known for muscle repair.