Proper eating before a workout is essential for natural weight loss. To reach the best results, our body needs a balanced meal regimen. But, as our habits differ, so do our body needs. For instance, early birds prefer fasted workout first-thing in the morning, while many people hit the gym later in the day. In the second case, some pre-workout foods are mandatory. Knowing what to eat before a workout can not only determine your workout income but also improve your health in general. The thing is pre-workout foods fuel our body so we can get through the workout without exhaustion, dizziness, or even injuries. So, start making smart eating choices that will help you reach your goals and get better fitness results easily.
To train at your best, you need the right amount of nutrients. At first place, our body needs energy. As the primary source of fuel, glycogen is essential for workout preparation. So, when you want not only better performance, but the food your body needs to function properly, fill up your glycogen stores. This is especially important when you want to protect your muscles and increase their growth. When we exercise, our glycogen stores are immediately used up. If we don’t have enough glycogen, the body will have to find new sources of energy. The bad news is our muscles are next target. To compensate energy levels, the body will break down muscles, which is the last thing you want as someone who passionately works out. Luckily, with the right pre-workout meals, you will enhance recovery and build up the muscle mass. Another thing you should have in mind is the right timing – only when you eat at the optimal time, you may expect the best results. So, if you’re not sure when the best time to eat is, follow this simple guideline:
- 30 Minutes to an Hour Pre-Workout – stick to light meals and foods which contain simple carbohydrates and proteins.
- 2-3 Hours Pre-Workout – eat a meal that contains between 400- 500 calories. Choose foods rich in proteins (around 20g) and low GI carbohydrates (20-30g).
Best meals to eat before a workout
If you lack inspiration or not completely sure what to eat before a workout, here is our list you can use to kick-start your workout routine.
As a great source of vitamins and minerals, bananas are dream pre-workout snack. Rich in natural sugars, they provide simple carbohydrates our body needs to stay energized during the workout. What we especially like is the fact they are a good source of beneficial properties.
These are our favorites:
Potassium - A diet high in potassium benefits heart health and heart pressure.
Vitamin B6 – It has a key role in metabolism, helps maintain the brain function, and keeps our hair and skin healthy.
Vitamin C – As a natural immunity booster, this vitamin is necessary for the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues.
Combine bananas with peanut butter for that extra protein boost.
In combo with rice and vegetables, chicken makes an ultimate pre-workout meal. Delicious, yet light, chicken is a good source of both proteins and carbs. Consume chicken 2 to 3 hours before a workout to make the most of it. Add curry sauce for the final touch.
A protein bar is always a good idea - especially, when you’re in a hurry. Although there are many possible combinations, our favorite includes oats, coconut oil, and whey protein. Grab your protein bar an hour before the workout to uplift your energy.
Porridge gives you the freedom to combine basically anything you have in the fridge. Mix oats, fruits, cacao, or protein powder of your choice. This light meal is the best when consumed 2 hours before the workout.
Fitness lovers adore fruit smoothies for a reason. They are not only healthy but super delicious. Also, they are full of fructose, which is often high in calories. If you love fruit smoothies, but want an option that will help you stay on your weight loss road, check out Body's Perfect meal replacement shake. Infused with powerful vitamins, proteins, and minerals, this meal replacement shake is an ideal pre-workout meal. Available in two, tasty flavors – vanilla and chocolate – and made for women and men separately, it’s certified by experts and rich in amazing immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
Post-workout meal ideas
Eating after a workout is important for so many reasons. With the right post-workout meal you will not only compensate used calories, but speed up the muscle recovery. Also, it’ll prevent fatigue and low energy. When you eat proper carbs and proteins, your muscles will grow faster which is great when you want to get a better body’s definition. A healthy, low-calorie post-workout meal is like a small reward after intensive gym time. Now, let’s see what post-workout meals you don’t want to miss.
Simple Post-Workout Meals
After the workout our body needs nutrients that will keep us energized and fresh. Here are few examples of easy-to-prepare meals, anyone should try.
This healthy meal is a good source of proteins and that’s exactly what you need it after physical activity. Combine omelet with avocado, fresh veggies, or sausage.
Nutritionists frequently recommend tuna salad. It’s delicious, healthy, and great when mixed with pasta, sandwich, or toast.
With olive oil, cheese, onion, and cherry tomato, Mediterranean pasta will bring the Italian spirit into your post-workout dinner.
Mushrooms are super vegan food. As frequent meat replacement, they are rich in proteins our body needs to stay strong. Prepare them with parsley, onion, or some sauce that will inspire your senses.
Fruits & nuts
Apple, banana, or blueberries – choices are endless. Mix them with Greek yogurt or eat them fresh. You can, as well, try dried fruits and nuts.
Let’s sum up
Knowing what to eat before a workout is equally important as making smart post-workout meal choices. In both cases, your body will get vitamins, minerals, and proteins it needs to recover faster. Before hitting the gym, treat yourself with meals rich in carbs to make sure your body has enough glycogen at its disposal. On the other hand, after you finish your workout, go with protein-based meals (eggs, avocado, tuna), that will help you grow the muscles. Make good choices today so your body will thank you tomorrow. Good luck!