Follow these healthy eating and exercise timing tips to help you reach your fitness goals.
If you’ve been following a healthy eating and exercise lifestyle for any period of time, you’re aware that being active, using supplements to your advantage, and eating the right foods just go hand in hand. Knowing that, are you diligently eating the right foods before and after your workouts? If not, this could be one of the key reasons why you’re not reaching your goals. What you eat before and after you exercise not only will have a huge effect on that session but also will help you recover and prepare for future workouts. Just as important as eating the right foods is keeping yourself adequately hydrated before, during, and after your workouts. If you’re spending time exercising and putting energy into your workouts, it only makes sense that you eat the right foods before and after your workouts if you really want to reach your goals. Find out just what foods are the best to help you reach your goals so you can look and feel your best.
What to Eat Before Exercising
A pre-workout meal can help prepare your body for its upcoming workout by giving you the energy you need. This small meal should be a combination of proteins, unsaturated fats, and complex carbohydrates, and it should contain less than 300 calories to prevent you from feeling sluggish or bloated while you work out. You always want to have a good workout, so don’t let the foods you choose compromise your results. Try not to eat foods that are too high in fats, as your body takes longer to digest them, which will affect your workout.
Keeping Hydrated During Your Workout
During your workout, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated to replace fluid that is lost in the form of sweat. Sweat contains essential electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, which regulate fluid balance in and out of your cells and are responsible for muscle contractions. To find out how much water you need on a daily basis, check out our handy water calculator. Don’t simply rely on your level of thirst as an indicator of how much water you need during your workout. According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s guidelines, you should be drinking the following amounts of water before, during, and after your workouts:
- Before – 17 fl. oz. (500 mL) about 2 hours beforehand
- During – 5 to 10 fl. oz. (150 to 300 mL) every 20 minutes
- After – 24 fl. oz. (At least 700 mL) for every pound of weight lost, within 2 hours
What to Eat After Exercising
It’s important to make the right healthy eating choices after you exercise. Otherwise, your hard work won’t yield the results you want. After a workout, your body’s energy levels are considerably depleted and must be replenished. Your muscles also begin their recovery process, which allows them to prepare for your next workout. Take advantage of the time immediately following your workout to replenish your body with the nutrients it requires. During this window of opportunity, muscle repair is at its peak. This is why it’s essential to consume protein and carbohydrates within 45 minutes after your workout for best results. It might be a good idea to bring a good source of these with you to the gym to ensure that you consume it as quickly as possible. If you want to benefit from your hard efforts at the gym, it’s important to start paying attention to the benefits of healthy eating for your exercise routine. Not only will making the effort to eat something healthy prepare you for your workouts and help with the recovery process, but it will also help with your future workouts. Start getting the most from your workouts by planning your pre- and post-workout nutrition to help yourself reach your goals.