Food as Fuel Before^ During and After Workouts


We all agree that the right kind of food can make or break a workout routine. They also possibly affect the desired results. Consuming quality carbohydrates pre-workout and lean proteins post-workout will be really beneficial for the body.Also, it is important to not make a habit of exercising on an empty stomach. While exercising on an empty stomach may burn fat, it does not seem to be beneficial in the long run. And, if the fatigue means that you are not able to exercise at full performance, then you will also not be able to sustain as effective a workout.Nancy Cohen, a professor specialising in nutrition recommended consuming 1 to 4 grams of carbohydrates per every 2.2 pounds of body weight if you are planning to exercise for longer than an hour.

Before the workout: Eating about 1-4 hours before working out is good for your fitness regime.A study in a University in Australia suggested that carbohydrate ingestion can improve endurance exercise performance. The paper was published in the 'Journal of Nutrition'.The researchers found that the data provides evidence that consumption of carbohydrates can enhance endurance levels in the body while performing exercise in adults. Cohen added that by eating carbohydrate-rich foods which are low in fat and moderate in protein, you can ensure you have enough muscle glycogen as fuel for your physical activity.Low-fat granola bars, fig bars, peanut butter, banana, yoghurt, pasta can be preferred. Staying hydrated is essential. While other fluids can affect the body in a negative way if consumed in access, drinking lots of water can do the trick. Cohen said, "Sufficient fluids are also important. In general, you can consume 5 to 10 millilitres of water per kilogram of body weight in the two to four hours before a workout".However, if you do not eat for a long time, your body is in a fasted state. Normally, your body will use glucose for fuel and begin to break down muscle glycogen to deliver the glucose your body needs for exercise. In a fasted state, the muscle glycogen will be depleted sooner. Your body will then turn to breaking down fats for the energy it needs. You can opt to eat eggs, cereal, and milk, toast with peanut butter, or fruit and yoghurt to fuel a morning workout.

During the workout: During the workout, make sure you consume fluids as they may be all you need to keep you going. "A range of foods or beverages could be useful, depending on the sport and the comfort of the individual," Cohen said.Juices, sports drinks, granola bars, fruit, other high-carbohydrate foods and drinks can be helpful while you are working out.

After the workout: After you workout, consume food with high concentration of protein in it. They include all dairy products, eggs, meat and poultry. After lighter workouts, eat a well-balanced meal, including high-quality protein and carbohydrates and drink enough fluids to replace lossesAfter high-intensity workouts, include fluids to rehydrate, carbohydrates to refuel and protein to repair your body.If you experience muscle pain after you exercise certain fruit juices, such as watermelon juice and cherry juice can reduce muscle soreness after exercise.Add fruit juices in your post-workout regime as they tend to reduce muscle soreness caused by certain exercise.

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