You put your best efforts into your workouts to perform better and achieve your fitness goals every session. And although this is commendable, you must take into account other factors such as your nutritional intake. Did you know that nutrition plays a vital role in maximizing your workout? Fueling your fitness with the proper nutrition will help maximise the benefits of your hard work!
Why You Shouldn’t Work Out On An Empty Stomach
The truth is out for this big fitness myth! Would you drive a car without gas? Or use your phone without charging it? Same goes for your body. When you are exercising on an empty stomach, you’re not giving yourself the fuel you need to power through a workout session.
Have you ever felt low on sugar that makes you dizzy and sluggish? That’s because your body needs a certain amount of sugar to fuel up for training. When blood sugar is absent, your body will convert your own muscle tissue into energy. Sounds scary, right? You want to maintain muscle, not eat away at it.
Before a workout, it’s good to eat simple carbohydrates and protein. It helps when they are easy to digest and provide quick energy. The ideal time to eat is between 30 minutes to three hours before your workout. So, you can adapt it based on your timing and schedule! Here are examples of pre-workout snacks you could have.
- Flaxseed Crackers
- Protein Bites
- Energy Balls
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Greek Yoghurt and Granola
- Protein-Packed Smoothies
- Oatmeal with Fresh Fruits
- Apples with Almond Butter
- Dried Fruit and Nuts
Why is Post-Workout nutrition vital?
Consuming the right nutrients after you exercise is just as important as what you eat before. After your workout, your body goes into recovery mode. The right nutrients can help you rebuild your muscle proteins and glycogen stores. It also helps stimulate growth of new muscles. It is recommended to include protein, carbohydrate and fats into your post-workout meals as protein aids the repair and growth of muscles, carbohydrates help with recovery, and healthy fats help with absorbing nutrients. Skip the energy drinks, bars and sugary juices.
And try these post-workout meal suggestions:
- Cranberry Quinoa Salad
- Kimchi Omelette
- Strawberry And Spinach Salad
- Roast Pumpkin, Beans and Rocket Salad
- Nori Rolls
- Grilled Chicken and Mixed Vegetables
- Grilled Salmon with Sweet Potato
- Hummus and Pitas
- Salad Greens with Roasted Chickpeas
Make Sure to Hydrate!
It is vital to keep yourself hydrated as you lose fluids and electrolytes when you sweat during your workout. This doesn’t mean that you need to chug down water before your workout, but do have a bottle of water handy so you can sip from it before, during and after your workout. Drinking water helps ensures optimal hydration for your body to maximise results.