Looking for ways to improve your performance and achieve your health and fitness goals? It all starts with nutrition. Good nutrition can help you perform better and recover faster after each workout. Knowing what to eat is important.
Pre workout nutrition – Improve Performance
Fueling your body with the right nutrients prior to exercise will give you the energy and strength you need to perform better. To maximise the results of your training, try to eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein and fat 2-3 hours before you exercise.
However, in some cases you may not be able to get in a full meal 2-3 hours before working out. In that case, you can still eat a decent pre-workout meal, bearing in mind the sooner you eat before your workout the smaller and simpler the meal should be. If you eat 45-60 minutes prior to your workout, choose foods that are simple to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein. Your pre-workout meal serves the purpose of fueling your workout and bringing up blood glucose levels for added energy. Your goal is to have the best workout you possibly can. Your pre-workout meal is going to help you accomplish that.
A few ideas might be:
- Protein shake with fresh or frozen fruit
- Oatmeal alone or mixed with protein powder (if you use it)
- An apple or banana
- Greek yogurt with fruit
The idea is to get your blood sugar levels up and to provide some glucose that’s needed for high-intensity exercise like EMS training. But what if you’re like me and work out in the morning and don’t want to be waking up even earlier to eat? If you’ve been skipping your pre-workout meal and haven’t noticed a decrease in performance, then don’t worry about it.
Post workout nutrition – feeding hungry muscles
You have finished an awesome workout and are now deciding what to eat… Exercise, both strength and endurance, is keeping you healthy, improves your well-being and can have positive impacts on your appearance. However the exercise itself is known to be a significant physiological stressor. Exercise depletes the muscle’s fuel, causes some minor damage, and as a result the muscles are in need of replenishment and repair.
If you workout, regardless of your chosen mode of exercise, experts advise to take post-exercise nutrition seriously in order to provide the muscle with the raw materials it needs. Carbohydrates are used during all exercises for providing energy, as a result muscle carbohydrate depletion is inevitable. To refill those muscle energy stores, a post-workout meal high in carbohydrates is great.
Additionally, muscle protein is reduced during exercise so it’s necessary to add a relatively large amount of protein to the post exercise meal. This helps to rebuild the structural aspects of the muscle.
While your post-workout feeding should be rich in protein and carbohydrate, this meal would ideally be low in healthy fats. Why you might ask as we have learned that essential fats are good? During the post workout period, eating fat can actually decrease the effectiveness of your post-workout recovery as fat may slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and proteins down.
So, what to eat? Here are a few ideas:
- Protein pancakes with some seasonal fruits
- Salmon and brown rice
- Grilled chicken and mixed vegetables
- Egg wrap with roasted vegetables
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Hydration is also crucial. It is important to consume water before, during and after exercise. Good hydration has been proven to sustain and even enhance performance.