Fuel for fitness means not only eating the right foods to match your fitness goals, but also timing that consumption to maximize the benefits you’ll receive. No matter how much you workout, if you’re not eating healthy, you won’t get the results you hoped to achieve and will even find your workout isn’t as effective and will often lack the potency you hoped to reach. While it may sound counterproductive to eat before a workout, especially if you’re trying to lose weight, it does supply the energy to push your hardest, burn the most calories and get the best results.
Don’t forget to fuel up right about two hours before you start working out.
You don’t want to workout on a full stomach, but you also don’t want to feel drained. An hour to two hours gives your body enough time to pass the food through, but still provides you with energy. Choose a healthy carb, such as whole grain toast or brown rice, fruits or vegetables. You want foods that digest quickly, so avoid fatty or high protein foods.
ALWAYS hydrate…before, after and during your exercise.
Your water bottle should be your best friend when you workout. Sip the water throughout your exercise time, keeping yourself hydrated. That may be all you need to do while you’re exercising, unless your workout is long and vigorous, then taking along a small snack to eat might be important. After an hour, eating a handful of raisins, banana or other small snack can keep you going.
Finish your workout with a refueling.
Of course, you’ll want to have water after working out, but juice is also an option, since it can provide the body with quick energy. If you’re working out before mealtime, take a healthy snack along. Not only does the right type help your body recover, it also helps you steer clear of the candy counter at the gas station and will help you eat more moderately at your next meal.
- Refuel with carbohydrates to feed your muscles after you workout. Carbs health to replenish the glycogen store used up during exercise.
- Get some healthy protein. You need protein to help repair the muscles and as the building blocks for new muscle tissue.
- Get some healthy fat. It will leave you feeling fuller, but won’t affect the nutrient absorption that people once thought it did. An avocado or some almond butter provide many nutrients, including healthy fat.
- Eating healthy meals and snacks is just as important for fitness as working out. If you don’t have the right fuel, no matter how much you workout you won’t get the results you want.