What To Eat Before & After A Workout.
Want results? Food will give them.
People who work out regularly and want clear results have to focus on their pre -and post-workout meals. This food intake within the windows before or after your workout will help you succeed and get results faster and in a healthy way. Starving is never an option! You can’t build a body this way, you’ll only break it down resulting in health issues like hormonal issues or osteoporosis, ect. So.. food is your friend when you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, lose fat or strengthening your bones and joints.
The reasons why you need a before and after workout meal is crucial for two basic reasons:
- What you eat before a workout is needed to fuel your body, so it has enough energy to give you your maximal performance during the workout. If your body lacks fuel, you’ll feel the lack of energy after a few reps. Followed by feeling very faint, dizzy or nauseous. This can lead to bad form, injury and fainting or throwing up. As you might guess: this won’t benefit your progress in any way. So, eat well before a workout and harvest those results. (This meal is called the pre-workout meal.)
- What you eat after a workout is needed to help your body to regenerate. The body needs to recover after every workout. It needs fuel to feed the muscles, the nervous-system, to stabilize your entire body after such an intense ride. It needs food to underline the workout you’ve just done and to feel fabulous and awesome without feeling fatigued, incredibly sore or too malnourished that you might increase your risk for injury in the future. (This meal is called the post-workout meal.)
People often get confused by all the information about pre -and post workout meals if you start googling it. You see a lot of science stuff fly by, time frames, you get several amino-acids supplements tossed towards you, you’ll suddenly have to take out a scale, but fear not! All you need is carbs and protein. No need to over complicate stuff. Healthy carbs & healthy protein.
Pre Workout Meal:
This meal is the last thing you will eat before your workout. It will help your body to kick ass.
1-2 hours before a workout: Protein and carbs.
Protein: chicken, beef, eggs, fish, tofu, tempeh, nuts, hemp, ect.
Carbs: veggies, brown rice, wild rice, bulgur, quinoa, oats, sweet potatoes, whole wheat sandwich, ect.
Adding a little healthy fat is no problem, but don’t make it too much, since it can be hard to digest within an hour by some people.
30 min before a workout: Have a liquid or easily digested meal.
Like a protein shake or a sports optimizer shake, a small salad or fruit with a low glycemic index, like bananas, oranges, apples, grapes, seasonal berries, tomatoes, mangoes, a pear or pineapple.
If you’re doing a tough and long workout, or are having a competition, keep some extra food near you to fuel you and give some extra nutrition when needed. I would recommend a banana, dates, an apple or grapes. It will help you optimize your workout, so you won’t meet, like we Dutch say, the ‘man with the hammer’ mid session.
Little boost before your workout: black coffee, green tea or kombucha.
Post Workout Meal:
The post workout meal is the first meal you will eat after your workout within a 60 minute time frame, preferably within 30 minutes.
Within 30 min after the workout: Drink a protein shake. Your body needs to replenish as soon as possible, yet eating solid, whole foods now can be quite demanding on your body in this phase, so liquid food will be better. Your other post workout meal will follow 30/60 minutes later, giving you also enough time to cook. So, for now: fuel that body with a shake. Or! Eat some yogurt with banana: easy digestible and they are a match made in heaven: together they maximize the absorption of muscle repairing glucose and amino-acids.
60 min after a workout: Eat a solid meal containing protein and carbs (yes, again!) You can add fat, that’s no problem as long as you eat the recommended protein and carbs.
Protein: beef, chicken, fish, eggs, bacon, Greek yogurt, tofu, seitan, tempeh, legumes, dark greens, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, cheese, hemp, ect.
Carbs: brown rice, quinoa, (sweet) potatoes, wild rice, couscous, bulgur, pasta, veggies, whole wheat sandwich, ect.
Pre-workout meals are the architects of your body, while the post workout meals are the construction workers. They have to work together and communicate to end up with a sculpture of a temple that’s called your rocking body.
Ps; Don’t forget to drink enough water before, during and after your workout.