In order to lose weight naturally, it is essential to eat right, especially before a workout. To obtain the best results, our body needs a balanced meal regimen. However, not only people’s habits differ widely but also our bodily needs. For instance, early birds usually prefer a fast workout first thing in the morning, while many people hit the gym later in the day. In the second case, pre-workout food is mandatory. Knowing what to eat before a workout can not only determine your workout productivity but also improve your health in general. Pre-workout foods fuel our body and provide energy for the workout, enabling us to complete it without exhaustion, dizziness, or even injuries. So, start making smart food choices that will help you reach your goals and get better fitness results easily.
To perform at your best during training, you need the right amount of nutrients. Firstly, your body needs energy. As the primary source of fuel, glycogen is essential for workout preparation. So, if you want to enhance your performance, your body needs the right food to function properly. Therefore, you need to fill up your glycogen stores. This is especially important when you want to protect your muscles and build muscle mass. When you exercise, your body immediately begins tapping into your glycogen stores. If you don’t have enough glycogen, the body will have to find new sources of energy. The bad news is that the muscles are the next target. To compensate for the energy levels, the body will start to break down muscle tissue, which is the last thing you want if you work out passionately. Luckily, with the right pre-workout meals, you will speed up the recovery process and build up muscle mass. Another thing you should keep in mind is the right timing: You can only expect optimal results if you eat at the right time. So, if you’re unsure about the best pre-workout mealtime, 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 hour pre-workout – eat a meal that contains 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 are unsure what to eat before a workout, here is a list to kick-start your workout routine.
As a great source of vitamins and minerals, bananas are a dream pre-workout snack. Rich in natural sugars, they provide simple carbohydrates, which our body needs to stay energized during a workout. We especially like the fact that they exhibit various health beneficial properties.
These are our favorites:
Potassium - A diet high in potassium benefits heart health and heart pressure.
Vitamin B6 – It Plays a key role in metabolism, helps maintain 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.
Chicken in combination with rice and vegetables makes up 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 are in a hurry. Although there are many possible combinations, our favorites include oats, coconut oil, and whey protein. Grab a protein bar an hour before your workout to uplift your energy.
Porridge gives you the freedom to combine basically anything you have in the fridge. Mix oats, fruits, cacao, or a protein powder of your choice. This light meal is best consumed 2 hours before a workout.
Fitness lovers adore fruit smoothies for a reason. They are not only healthy but also super delicious. They are also 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. It is available in two tasty flavors – vanilla and chocolate – and made for women and men separately. It is also 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 for calories burned but also speed up muscle recovery. Also, it’ll prevent fatigue and low energy levels. When you eat the right carbs and proteins, your muscles will grow faster which is great when you want to increase your body definition. A healthy, low-calorie post-workout meal is like a small reward after an intense gym session. Now, let’s see which post-workout meals you don’t want to miss.
Simple Post-Workout Meals
After a workout, our body needs nutrients that will keep us energized and fresh. Here are a few examples of easy-to-prepare meals everyone should try.
This healthy meal is a good source of protein and that is exactly why you need it after physical activity. Serve the omelet in combination with avocado, fresh veggies, or sausage.
Nutritionists frequently recommend tuna salad. It’s delicious, healthy, and great in a pasta dish, sandwich, or toast.
WWith olive oil, cheese, onion, and cherry tomato, Mediterranean pasta will bring an Italian flair into your post-workout dinner.
Mushrooms are a vegan superfood. As a frequent meat replacement, they are rich in proteins, which we need to stay strong. Prepare them with parsley, onion, or some sauce that will inspire your senses.
Fruits & nuts
Apple, banana, or blueberries – the choices are endless. Mix them with Greek yogurt or eat them fresh. You can also 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 the vitamins, minerals, and proteins it needs to recover faster. Before hitting the gym, treat yourself with meals rich in carbs to ensure that your body has enough glycogen at its disposal. On the other hand, after you finish your workout, choose protein-based meals (eggs, avocado, tuna) that will help you gain muscle mass. Make good choices today- your future self will thank you. Good luck!