Are you sweating out 4-5 days in the gym but don’t seem to get effective results? May be the reason lies in your diet. A well-planned diet rich in proteins and carbohydrates plays a very important role in maximizing the benefits of exercise.
It helps in energizing the muscles, promotes weight loss and helps in developing muscles in a healthy way. Foods that you eat before exercising act as fuel that improves stamina and performance while foods that you eat after your workout session helps in recovering the muscles.
You might also have a doubt in your mind whether to take a protein shake before or after the workout because of diverse views in people’s mind. Below you can find the pre and post workout foods which you need to know to gain good muscle and strength.
Best Pre-Workout Foods
What you eat before exercise can have an important impact on how your body performs during the workout session and therefore it is essential to plan out the diet before and after workout carefully.
It is important to supply the body with fuels in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, and fibers in order to maximize the benefits of exercise. Following are the pre-workout foods that you need to consume to gain energy to do a workout.
The health benefits of oats need no new emphasis. It is a power food loaded with fibers, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that make it a perfect pre-workout food that helps in boosting energy and increasing athletic performance.
It keeps the tummy full for longer without causing gas or bloating. It takes the time to break down in the intestine slowly releasing sugar into the bloodstream that acts as a source of energy.
Having a bowl of steaming oats in the morning at least 30 minutes before hitting the gym is a quick and easy way getting the instant energy boost.
Loaded with carbohydrates, potassium, and manganese, bananas are a powerhouse of energy that helps in elevating sports performance.
The carbohydrates act as fuel for boosting athletic performance while potassium helps in regulating muscle and nerve functions. The minerals also help in relieving muscle cramps and aids healing of wounds and injuries suffered during a workout.
It also increases endurance and improve bone health. Have one medium sized banana with a cup of unflavored yogurt at least one hour before starting your workout for effective results.
Whole Grain Bread
Maximize your workout benefits with whole grain foods such as whole grain bread that is rich in complex carbohydrates and low in saturated fats. Top it up with some honey, boiled egg whites or turkey for a dose of high-quality protein.
It is a healthy and mess-free source of carbohydrates that you can eat even on the move. Have 2-3 slices of whole grain or multi grain bread 30 minutes before resuming exercise for best results. Whole grain bread is an ideal pre-workout food for those who work-out during the afternoon.
Unflavored yogurt is the best source of pre-workout nutrition if you are planning for a long and intense session of workout. It is a great source of protein and calcium with traces of natural sugar that helps in boosting performance by energizing the muscles.
Being easy on the digestive system, it requires very less energy to break down and is the ideal pre-work out food on days you want to go for weight training or intense workouts.
Add some dry fruits, nuts or cereal to get an additional boost of energy. Have the yogurt at least 20-25 minutes before starting your workout.
Protein shake made of whey protein powder is extremely beneficial in increasing the effectiveness of the exercise. Proteins and amino-acids ingested before a workout can help in energizing the muscles and act as fuel for the workout.
It also speeds up the process of protein synthesis and promotes calorie burning. The branched chain amino acids present in whey protein are directly released into the blood stream for being used by the muscles.
Have a glass of this nourishing protein shake at least 30 minutes before hitting the gym. So you got the answer for your question – which is better ? whether to take the protein shake before or after the workout.
Best Post-Workout Foods
It is a good idea to rejuvenate the tired muscles and tissues with essential nutrients so that they can recover from the exhaustion of intense workout sessions. The two most essential post-workout requirements are carbohydrates and fluids that are vital for post-workout muscle recovery.
Quinoa is one of the most effective sources of post-workout nutrition loaded with proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. It provides the necessary nutrients to muscles and tissues and helps in recovering injured and inflamed tissues.
The proteins in quinoa promote cell generation and muscle building and improve bone health.
The important micro-nutrient iron along with magnesium present in quinoa helps in toning muscles and increasing energy levels. Substitute brown rice for quinoa and maximize the output of your workouts.
Eggs are one of the most effective natural post-workout supplements for optimizing the benefits of a workout.
It contains the powerful combination of proteins and carbohydrates that are the two essential nutrients required by the body after a session of intense workout.
It helps in replenishing the glycogen and also promotes post-workout muscle and tissue recovery. Hardboiled eggs can be cooked easily and super-convenient to carry. Just throw a couple in your gym bag or enjoy with a slice of whole grain bread.
Fruits are a rich natural source of antioxidants that fight the damaging effects of free radicals and oxidative stress and also helps in muscle and tissue recovery. Being loaded with nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, dietary fibers, and folate it helps in re-energizing and revitalizing the tired muscles.
Most fruits contain specific enzymes that breakdowns carbohydrates and supplies the nutrients to worn out muscles. Include fruits like oranges, kiwi, pineapple, and blueberries in your post-workout fruit salad to revitalize your body.
Kiwi has amazing health benefits. It is the ultimate post-workout food that helps in relieving sore muscles and promotes the healing of damaged muscles and tissues.
Kiwi fruits are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants – flavonoids and polyphenols that relieve inflammation caused during workouts. Consume two medium sized kiwi fruits right after your exercise session to rejuvenate your tired muscles.
Dry Fruits And Nuts
Dry fruits and nuts are a great source of post-workout nutrients that you can enjoy while on the go. Nuts such as peanuts, wall-nuts, and almonds have numerous health benefits and are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fatty acids it helps in recovering the muscles and tissues after a workout.
The simple carbohydrates in dry fruits such as prunes, apricots, and berries are easy to digest and help in replenishing glycogen to muscles.
Tips To Maximize Your Workout Through Diet
Following a few simple tips and planning your diet accordingly can go a long way in maximizing the output of your workouts.
- Have healthy breakfast rich in whole grains and fruits
- Eat small sized meals 2 to 3 hours before workout
- Have a snack 30 minutes before you start exercising
- Eat foods rich in proteins and carbohydrate within two hours after exercise
- Drink enough fluids during and after your workout session
Include these foods in your pre and post-workout diet to boost energy, maximize your performance and promote fat-burning and don’t forget to share your health and fitness tips with us.