If you’ve managed to get yourself to a gym on a steady schedule, congratulations, first of all. Motivation is tough to find for most of us who need to get ourselves to a gym… You’re already a winner simply by getting yourself there.
An even harder aspect to working out is actually just energy at times, given our busy lifestyles. Whether you choose to go to a gym before work or after, chances are you will at some point lack energy initially to get you moving. This is where diet comes in. If you want to have a better workout or see results more rapidly, then you need to alter a few parts of your daily diet to ensure your body is functioning at its peak. Certain natural foods are meant to give you maximum energy and benefit when consumed before or after a workout, so you can maximize the results of all the hard work you’re putting in. If you want the most benefit from your workouts, here’s the lowdown on the best foods pre and post workout:
Whole Grain Toast
Whole grains provide a healthy dose of natural carbs that fuel your body and give you energy. Simple carbs like this are quickly digested and give you energy without the heavy feeling of a full stomach. Before heading for a workout you can grab a slice or two to give you the natural carb load you will use up in your work out, and for added effect you can top it off with a protein of your choice, which helps your muscles stay nice and strong. A win-win scenario.
A banana prior to workout is a light snack that will give you energy, and ensure you’re feeling full without feeling heavy. Our bodies naturally don’t store potassium for too long so a banana prior to working out will ensure you have enough nutrients to keep you going, as potassium contributes to nerve and muscle function.
Eating nuts will ensure you have all your nutrient bases covered; carbs, fats and proteins. They’re a light snack that won’t weigh you down before you workout but they will give you energy and nutrients necessary for your muscles to perform at their best.
Granola is carb heavy, but it doesn’t take up too much room in your stomach, as it is not a high volume carb. As a result, you’re feeling satisfied and energized without feeling weighed down.
After A Workout:
Eggs or Meat
Healthy protein after a workout is no brainer, as you need protein to rebuild muscle after exercise. As your muscles are the engaged parts of your body during a workout, a protein consumption following your exercise will give you the needed nutrients and allow for muscle repair and strengthening.
Eating fruit after a workout will help your body to replenish after a vigorous workout through the antioxidant and vitamin properties it contains, which speeds up recovery. More importantly, the quick acting carbs in fruit will restore your glycogen (muscle fuel) levels which helps the body recover quickly.
Cottage cheese is a healthy way to replenish protein, while consuming a low amount of fat, which will help your overall health and weight goals. As cottage cheese contains a large amount of casein (slow digesting protein found in milk), it will help your body build muscle for an extended period of time afterwards, while also providing hydration for your body as the cheese contains more water than other cheeses.
Quinoa is a rare and essential recovery food because it contains the healthy carbs and proteins your body needs to recover post workout. It contains a high amount of amino acids, making it a complete protein essentially, which is great for muscle recovery. Moreover, it contains many minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, keeping your body functioning at its best. With so many benefits, this is a high energy-low calorie food, ensuring optimal health and results for your plan.