Eating certain things at certain times may help you make a difference as you work out. Both eating and exercising go together. Knowing what to eat and when is crucial in regards to how you will feel when exercising, for both casual workouts and competition training. Here are a few eating and exercising tips to consider.
1. Eat a wholesome and healthy breakfast
For those who like to exercise at the beginning of their day, you should wake early and give yourself enough time to finish breakfast one hour before working out. A lot of last night’s energy from dinner is gone and you want to raise your blood sugar levels. Skipping breakfast may cause you to feel lightheaded or sluggish when working out.
If you insist on working out within the hour after your breakfast, have a light meal or at least have a drink that will raise your blood sugar levels, like a sports drink. Carbohydrates will give you maximum energy.
Some good breakfasts include:
• Bread or whole-grain cereals
• Milk (Low-fat)
• A pancake or waffle
Also, if you often have a coffee after waking up, one cup prior to working out is alright. Keep in mind however that trying a food or drink you don’t regularly have before working out risks an upset stomach.
2. Size matters
Be wary of how much you might eat before exercising. You don’t want to eat too much. A general guideline:
• Wait 3 to 4 hours after eating a large meal, before you exercise.
• Wait 2 to 3 hours after eating a small meal, before you exercise.
• Have at least a small snack (only if nothing else) 1 hour before you exercise.
Over-eating may make you feel sluggish. Meanwhile not eating enough may not give you enough energy to keep feeling powerful throughout training.
3. Snack well
Many people eat small snacks just before or even during exercising. It’s about how you might feel. Do what is ideal for you. A snack you eat soon before working out likely will not give you more energy, but they may help at keeping up your glucose levels while preventing distracting food cravings. Good snack selections include:
• Fresh fruits, like bananas
• Energy bars
• Fruit smoothies
• Granola bars (Low-fat)
• Whole-grain crackers or a bagel
• Peanut butter sandwiches
Healthy snacks are especially crucial if you are going to work out many hours after your meal.
4. Eat after exercising
You need to eat a meal which contains protein as well as carbohydrates sometime within 2 hours after your workout if possible, in order to let your muscles recover and replace their glycogen stores. Good post-exercising foods include:
• Fruit and yogurt
• Chocolate milk and pretzels (Low-fat)
• Meatballs and pasta
• Chicken and brown rice
• Peanut butter sandwich
5. The miracles of water
Don’t forget to rehydrate! Said before in our May 1st article, it’s important to say it again, you require adequate liquids before, during, and after a workout in order to prevent dehydration. In order to remain well-hydrated, it is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine that you:
• Drink about 2 to 3 cups (That’s 473 – 710ml) of water within the 2 or 3 hours prior to working out.
• Drink roughly ½ to 1 cup (That’s 118 – 237ml) of water in 15 to 20 minute intervals as you workout. You may make adjustments based on the weather and your body size.
• Drink about 2 to 3 more cups of water after you’re done working out for each pound (0.5kg) of weight that you’ve lost during your exercise.
Water is usually the ultimate way to rehydrate. But if you will be exercising for over 60 minutes, have a sports drink. Sports drinks may help in maintaining your body’s balance of electrolytes while giving you some more energy since they contain carbohydrates.
Let exercise guide you
Remember, the duration and the intensity of your exercising activity dictate just how often as well as what you should be eating or drinking. To explain further, you will require more energy from meals in order to run in a marathon than you would when taking a walk around your block.
Balancing your eating and exercising is different for everybody. So keep an eye on your overall performance as well as how you feel. Your experiences will direct you through figuring out which pre- and post-workout eating habits are best for you. Keep a journal to keep track of your body reactions from meals and snacks in order to plan the best diet for your optimal performance. And feel free to talk to your trainer for more suggestions!
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