What to Eat Before and After Exercise

by Chris Freytag

September 07, 2012 // Category: Fitness Advisor

Food is fuel and if you don’t have the right fuel or the right amount, you can throw off your workouts. Here’s my guide to know when to eat and what to eat before and after your workouts.

Before a Workout

You don’t want your stomach growling during exercise, but you don’t want to feel like you just ate Thanksgiving dinner either. Ideally, you want to fuel your body with healthy, nutritious foods that are no longer hanging out in your stomach when it’s time to work out.

About an hour before your workout, have a carbohydrate with a little bit of protein.

A high carbohydrate, low fat snack can easily be digested and it normalizes blood sugar. You will have ample energy and you will feel great. Meals or snacks high in fat will leave you sluggish and those high in sugar will pick you up momentarily and then drop you. High-carb with a little bit of protein can help you achieve just the right balance.

After a Workout

The food you eat after a workout impacts your metabolism. The 60 minutes after you finish a workout is the perfect time to refuel with a combination of protein and carbs. Some people call it the golden hour. You will speed up your recovery time and replenish glycogen stores. If you are trying to lose weight, choose a protein-based snack.

In the hour after your workout, try one of these protein-rich snacks.

  • Smoothie
  • Handful of walnuts, almonds or pistachios
  • Greek yogurt
  • Low fat cheese
  • Hard boiled egg

Don’t Forget to Hydrate

No matter when you work out or the form of exercise you choose to do, stay hydrated. Water is essential to keep your body working safely and productively. 

 
Chris Freytag
 

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