Team UB Fitness highlights a few handy eating and exercise tips that’ll help you achieve optimum result from all your workouts.
Exercise helps you burn off excess calories as well as maintains a healthy body weight. It also reduces your risk of being prone to chronic diseases such as heart disease. Everyone knows there is a connection between eating and exercise and knowing when and what to eat will make a great difference in your workout sessions.
1. Start with a healthy breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast is essential, not only when you’re exercising yet for everyday living. When you are working out ensure you take your breakfast at least one hour before your sessions. Your blood sugar might be low when you wake up because most of the energy derived from the dinner taken during the previous night has already been used up.
It is essential you eat before you start your morning exercise so that you won’t feel sluggish.
Eat something to raise your blood sugar and also give you the energy you need for the exercise. It should be noted that carbohydrates are more desirable because they are more quickly digested than protein or fat. This helps in preventing muscle cramps, stomach upset or feeling of fatigue and sluggishness. Foods rich in carbohydrates include yogurt, pancake, bananas, bread and juice.
2. Be mindful of the quantity
When you eat too much before you exercise, you can feel sluggish while you might not get the required energy for strength when you eat too little.
The general guideline is that you should eat large meals at least 3 to 4 hours before you exercise, small meals should be eaten 2 to 3 hours before exercising while small snacks can be taken an hour before your workouts.
Size does matters when eating before exercise.
3. Eat a healthy snack
By eating fruit as snack, you’re hydrating your body and also giving your body carbohydrates at the same time. Good choices include orange, pineapple, grapes and strawberries.
You can eat snacks before and during exercise. Snacks eaten before exercise can help in maintaining your blood sugar levels and also preventing hunger. Other options of good snacks include energy bars, low-fat granola bars, and peanut butter sandwiches amongst others.
Eat light snack if you’re exerting yourself for a long time.
After you’ve been exercising hard, you need to have a carbohydrate snack such as a banana which will enable your body to keep going through the energy derived from the carbohydrate. It also keeps your brain working at it’s optimal level (this is particularly useful because your brain is distracted from focusing on how hard you’ve been working).
4. Eat after exercising
Eating is not only important before you exercise it is also useful after you exercise. Eating after exercising helps your muscles to recover from the strenuous workouts as well as helping in replacing the glycogen stores.
Foods that can be taken after your workouts include protein (meat, fish, beans), complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes) and vegetables.
5. Drink well
Drinking adequate fluids helps you to stay hydrated. Athletes need more drink than non-athletes. Sodas and caffeine should be excluded as they dehydrate your body further. Drink more water before you commence your exercise and ensure you drink more fluids while exercising.
As recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine, you can drink about 118 to 237 millilitres (half to 1 cup) of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your exercise of one hour or less. [Source] This can be adjusted to suit your body size and the weather.
Exercise can lead to substantial water loss from sweat leading to dehydration, proper hydration is imperative.
Keep in mind
The duration and intensiveness of your exercise will determine how often and also, what you eat and drink, you’ll need more food (or energy) to run a marathon than to jog around a block.
Remember to pay attention to your feelings during workout sessions. This will help you to decide the correct eating habits to follow before and after your exercise.
A great tip is to keep a journal to monitor your body’s reaction to meals which will help you achieve maximum performance.
Do you have a particular plan you follow when it comes to eating before, during and after your workouts? Why don’t you share them with us by dropping them in the comments below?