What to eat before, during and after exercise
When you work out, you want to be at your best, not sick with stomach pains or so low on energy that you have to stop after five minutes. What you consume before and during your workout plays a big part in how well you’re going to perform, so it’s important to know what foods are the best to eat, and when. And considering the body can continue to burn calories for hours after a sweat session, it also pays to know what to eat once you’re done. So with the help of our Health & Fitness expert, Luke Horder, here are some easy eating guidelines to help you get the most out of your body and your workout.
What to eat before exercise
Luke suggests consuming a pre-workout snack about one hour before exercising. The key word here is snack – it should be smaller than a meal and consist of complex carbohydrates to fuel your body as well as some natural sugar for an energy boost. Things like pita bread with hummus, oatmeal with blueberries or one piece of wholewheat toast topped with mashed banana are perfect as they’re digested quickly and provide long-lasting energy – minus the tummy cramps.
What to eat during exercise
If you’re planning to train for more than an hour, it’s crucial to consume some source of energy. Again, carbohydrates are the best option - go for 50-100 calories for every half hour of intense exercise. A banana or small handful of sultanas will do the trick. If your workout is less than an hour, just sip on water or a sports drink throughout.
What to eat after exercise
“Your post-workout snack should be geared towards recovery”, says Luke. “It should contain adequate amounts of fluids, electrolytes, carbohydrates and protein.” If you’re on the go, munching on something like Bounce Protein Balls ($36 for a 12 pack, and P.S. the Coconut Macadamia Protein Bliss is amazing) will reenergise your body. If you’re heading home for lunch or dinner, grilled chicken served with lots of green veggies is ideal.
Do you pay attention to what you eat surrounding a workout? Which foods do you like to eat for long lasting energy?