Breakfast may be said to be the most important meal of the day but what you eat before (and after) you work out is equally important. Eating the right foods can make an impact on the repair process as well as replenishing glycogen stores and reducing soreness and more. Always investigate neck pain treatment options if you are experiencing pain.
The types of foods eaten as well as when they are consumed are considered the two primary factors when it comes to pre- and post-workout nutrition. But workout food recommendations are not universal because there are many different variables to consider, including preferences and how foods affect the person.
Types of Workout Snacks
Some foods may give energy to some people while making others feel weighed down. It is important to determine which foods work best for you and your body.
Pre- and post-workout nutrition needs to be individualized. Certain principles apply to everyone, including eating carbs before a workout, but there are other factors that vary. Trial and error is the best way to determine which foods will bring the best fitness results.
Many diet plans restrict carbohydrate intake, leading numerous Americans to cut or eliminate carbs to shrink their waistlines but when it comes to good fitness foods, carbs offer quick fuel. Carbs are arguably good for the overall wellness of many people despite the fact that they are often demonized. Eating a keto or paleo diet may cause you to feel more sluggish because your body doesn’t receive the quick energy that carbs offer.
If you don’t want to eat stereotypical carbs like white pasta or sports drinks, you can opt for healthier carb sources. Peanut butter, legumes, some potato varieties and fruits are both healthy and well-rounded fuel sources that are full of macronutrients.
Protein is another important food staple when it comes to workout fuel. Protein is important for building and maintaining muscle and it also helps to keep you full.
Opt for a snack that has both carbs and protein for a well-balanced diet. Grab something like a chicken wrap or apples with peanut butter. These snacks can help to fill you up while leaving you satiated during a workout.
When you work out, your glycogen stores in your muscles are depleted. It is important to eat a protein-filled snack after working out to replenish those stores.
Timing for Workout Snacks
Just as there are many opinions on the types of workout snacks you should eat, there are also various ones regarding proper timing for workout nutrition. Research remains ongoing to determine when the best time frames are for food intake surrounding workouts.
Some experts argue that the best combination is eating foods with both carbs and protein within two hours after a workout. The idea is that if you wait longer than two hours after working out to eat carbohydrates, it may actually lead to a reduction in muscle repair by up to 50 percent.
The best way to fuel your body pre- and post-workout is to personalize it by figuring out which foods serve you best and when it is best for your body for you to snack, while keeping in mind the little bits of sports medicine wisdom surrounding workout snacks. Just don’t feel pressured to follow every bit of advice you hear – remember that workout nutrition should be individualized so what works best for you is more important than anything else.