Nutritional Tips to Make the Most of Your Workout
In order to make the most of your workout, it is important to eat the right foods. Whatever your fitness goals, it will take longer to achieve the results you are looking for if you do not make changes to your diet as well. Making balanced food choices before your workout will help you stay energised throughout your session, and having a healthy meal afterwards will help your muscles to recover. Here are some of my nutritional tips to help you have a great workout.
Have a Small Meal Before Your Workout
It is very important to have something to eat before your workout. Exercising on an empty stomach is likely to make you feel tired and lethargic, and could even lead to injury. Having a small meal before working out will ensure you have sufficient energy to complete your workout. This meal should ideally be low in fat, and high in complex carbohydrates and protein. Fatty foods take a long time to digest, so eating meals with a high fat content before your workout might upset your stomach. Lean meats are excellent low fat protein sources, and wholemeal bread and pasta can give you slow release energy before your workout. It is best not to eat too soon before your session; having a small meal between 90 minutes and two hours before your workout will give your stomach sufficient time to settle.
Stay Hydrated During Your Workout
If you have prepared for your workout well by having a balanced meal with a mixture of complex carbohydrates and protein, you shouldn’t feel the need to snack while exercising. Snacking during a workout could potentially upset your stomach, and might not necessarily provide the energy you are looking for. However, it is important to drink plenty of water during your workout. Drinking plenty of water helps to replace the fluids lost through sweat, and avoids dehydration. Plain water is usually enough to replace lost fluids and stay hydrated, but if you are planning an endurance based workout, such as a long distance run, an isotonic sports drink might be beneficial.
These drinks offer an energy boost as well as hydration.
Choose Lean Sources of Protein After Your Workout
It is best to have another meal within an hour of finishing your workout in order to help your muscles recover and repair themselves. Having a combination of carbohydrates and protein will help your body recover without upsetting your stomach. About 20 grams of protein is sufficient for your post-work out meal, although those training intensively and looking to build muscle might benefit from increasing their protein intake slightly. Avoid foods with a high fat content for at least two hours after working out as fatty foods can slow down your body’s absorption of protein and carbohydrates, and they might still upset your stomach after exercising. If you are short on time, a protein bar or shake makes a great alternative, just make sure to choose low fat options.
So next time you are working out, use some of these nutritional tips to keep your energy levels up and aid the recovery of your muscles. As a qualified personal trainer, I offer nutritional advice and meal plans to my clients to help them make the most of their training sessions and achieve their desired results. Call David on 07966 491 482 to find out more or book your free consultation.