What are the best food options before and after exercise?

August 29, 2013

Living a healthy lifestyle requires making changes in every aspect of your life. Being really vigilant with exercise and always sticking to your fitness plan is great, but if you continue to eat poorly and make the wrong nutrition choices, it will counter the good you’re doing with the exercise.

To see the most results and benefits, you should create a workout plan and also a food plan. Fitness professionals suggest that to maintain a higher metabolism and avoid growing too hungry and binge eating, people should eat five to six smaller meals throughout the day.

These meals include eating before and after workouts. There are certain foods that are better during these times to help fuel exercise and keep you functioning properly while performing physical activity on your home fitness equipment as well as replace what was expended after you’ve finished and cooled down. Eating pre- and post-workout snacks helps your body maintain glycogen. Glycogen is your muscles’ main fuel source during exercise.

Pre-workout eating
You should eat something high in carbohydrates and low in fat 30 to 60 minutes before a workout, like running on a home treadmill like the True M50 Home Treadmill.

A great pre-workout snack is a banana with natural peanut butter (or almond or cashew butter) and nonfat milk. This is easy to fix and contains slow burning carbs along with some protein, which helps blood sugar levels stay up. Potassium from the banana and calcium from the milk also help deter cramping.

Other healthy snacks for before a workout are: oatmeal, an egg and a piece of fruit, whole grain toast with turkey or yogurt.

Post-workout eating
After a workout, it’s important to eat within an hour to fully receive the food’s benefits. These meals should be high in carbs and protein to reduce the risk of muscle soreness and replace what was expended during exercise like cycling on a home exercise bike like the True ES9.0 Home Upright Bike.

If you’re thirsty, a great recovery drink is low-fat chocolate milk. Yes, chocolate milk has the right amount of carbs and protein to restore glycogen and repair muscles. Plus it’s delicious. Chocolate milk is especially great after endurance training.

Whole grain waffles topped with Greek yogurt and fruit is another example of a post-workout meal full of good protein and carbs to replace energy and keep blood sugar levels up.

Other options for post-workout meals include: grilled chicken with steamed vegetables, tuna on whole grain bread and protein shakes with fruit and almond milk.