All physical movement is considered exercise and affected by diet. We regard our workouts, sports, and fitness activities simply as exercise, and whether exercising is your hobby or what you do simply to stay in shape, or whether you are a pro or training to run a marathon, what you eat affects your performance while exercising. Thus, affecting the results your exercise has on your body. Proper nutrition pre and post-training will help you achieve fitness goals easier.
But what is the best food when we exercise? You probably wonder which food is best before and after your workout. First, let’s talk about food as an energy source.
How Is Food Converted Into Energy?
All macronutrients from the food break down into smaller types for our cells to use as energy. Carbohydrates break down into their smallest type, glucose, as the primary fuel for our body. Cells convert glucose into ATP. The energy produced is a form of ATP our body uses as energy for many cellular functions.
Our body can use another source of energy like fats or fatty acids. When your body doesn’t get enough carbohydrates in your body, it finds another energy source to meet its needs. The body burns fat and uses ketones as fuel when your body doesn't have enough energy.
During this process, the body generates energy from fatty acids. As a result, you will excrete the excess ketones in the urine. You can measure the ketones levels by using Vivoo urine tests.
For maintaining balance in your body, we created Super Meals recipes for pre-and post-workout that will recharge your body.
You must provide the body with the best source of energy, like a quality meal, tо get the full benefit out of your training. What does a quality meal mean? A diet that is easy to digest, full of macronutrients, and allows you to exercise without feeling nauseous.
Digesting food and obtaining nutrients for energy takes some time. However, we have a lot of control over the time it takes for cells to receive energy from a meal because this depends on the type of food we choose to eat. To ensure your body gets the energy it needs before exercising, you should eat a meal rich in complex carbs and proteins 2-3 hours before exercising.
Try out some of the best nutritional pre-workout meals:
PEANUT BUTTER ON WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD
1 tablespoon of peanut butter on a slice of whole-grain bread gives you the best amount of carbs. It creates the energy that the muscles need during exercise. Peanut butter adds protein to the meal too. Protein keeps you full, and it can help you get rid of cravings after training. According to some research, eating small amounts of peanuts can help you get the optimal post-workout energy.
OATS WITH YOGURT AND FRUIT
A combination of oats and fruit is a perfect pre-workout meal. Oats contain complex carbs, which your body slowly digests. It keeps you full of energy for a long time. Add fruit for an antioxidant source. For extra protein, you can add any type of yogurt you want.
A smoothie bowl is easy to prepare, especially for breakfast if you don’t have time. It’s easy to digest if you love morning workouts. You are free to make your favorite smoothie by adding oat and your favorite fruit. Mix it with water, ice, or any type of milk you prefer.
QUINOA SALAD WITH VEGGIES AND OLIVES
Quinoa combination gives you the right amount of carbs and protein for your workout. It can charge your body with energy and is easy to digest. Mix a small portion of quinoa with some veggies, like cucumber, red pepper, and tomato. Adding olives is a perfect way of consuming unsaturated fats that are healthy for the heart. They also have an antioxidant effect that can help your body make better use of oxygen and give you better exercise results.
The post-workout meal is the most important and you should not skip it. Whether you are exercising for weight loss, strength, or simply for health, a post-workout meal is a must!
Post-workout eating should be the most crucial for achieving your goal. Without proper nutrition, exercise will not work. Each workout is a shock to the body. For the body and muscles to adequately respond to this type of stress, it is necessary to meet the nutritional needs. Recharging is an important step that you should not ignore.
The meal after training should contain protein to enable muscle protein synthesis, and carbohydrates to replenish the amount of glycogen consumed. Some perfect post-workout meals are as follows:
BOILED EGGS, WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD, AND SALAD
One slice of bread restores the energy burned during exercise, while fiber from the salad maintains blood sugar levels. Eggs are pure protein, so they have all nine essential amino acids that your body uses to build muscle. Don’t have time to eat after training? Take a hard-boiled egg. They will make you strong and pack your body full of nutrients.
TURKEY WITH WHOLE GRAIN RICE
Choose this light lunch after finishing your workout. The rice provides you with carbohydrates, while turkey meat contains a large amount of protein necessary for the muscles. Instead of high-calorie dressings, add avocado cream. Avocado is rich in unsaturated fat, potassium, and magnesium, two minerals that can reduce muscle cramps.
SALMON WITH WHOLE GRAIN PASTA
Fish is rich in protein and omega-3 healthy fats that are good for the heart and can soothe inflamed muscles after training. The whole grain pasta is rich in complex carbs and keeps you full for a long time. Skip the high-calorie butter and cream. Instead, use olive oil.
SMOOTHIE WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA
This smoothie will replenish the energy after a workout. The banana provides potassium and offers carbs to help you restore your muscle glycogen. You can add low-fat greek yogurt and get the right amount of protein for muscle development. Also, you can add strawberries as an antioxidant and fiber source. For extra proteins, it’s optional to add a serving of protein powder.
To sum it up:
Whenever you buy and consume food, think about what you are bringing into your body. Eating healthy food in a combination with some exercise is the perfect combo for reaching your goal.
Remember: You want to create a healthy life with long-term healthy habits.