What to Eat & Drink Before and After a Workout

Whether you’re an avid exerciser or a beginner to the world of working out, there are some things you should know about what to eat before and after your workouts.

First, let’s talk about what NOT to eat before a workout

Sugary foods
Workout meal prep is important to ensure you don’t turn to pastries and candy bars which can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, making you feel like you have more energy than you actually do. This will make it harder for you to get through your workout because those sugar levels will drop so fast that they’ll leave you feeling exhausted and sluggish instead of energized.

Alcohol or caffeine
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you pee more frequently than usual. The more you pee, the more water you lose. And that can lead to dehydration—and a whole bunch of other problems! Caffeine does not count as a pre workout snack either. It can dehydrate your body by increasing rapid heart rate and blood pressure. This can cause dizziness and lightheadedness—not something you want during a workout!

Greasy foods
Avoid fast food like burgers or fries; they’ll leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable when it comes time to work out. While they might taste good, greasy foods can have negative effects on your body. Greasy foods are very high in fat and cholesterol and are a terrible pre workout meal. This means that they will take longer to digest and there will be more waste products from this food in the blood stream. This can lead to increased blood pressure, which is not good for an athlete who is working out intensely.

Now let’s talk about what TO eat before working out.
When you’re preparing for a workout, it’s important to fuel your body with the right foods. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet will help you recover faster after a tough workout and avoid injuries.

Protein-rich foods
Foods that are rich in protein should be a part of your workout food chart. Protein helps build muscle mass, which means it will be easier for you to build strength as well as endurance during your workout session. Protein also helps repair muscle tissue and prevents muscle breakdown during an intense workout. Some great pre-workout snacks include eggs with toast or some fruit salad made with yogurt or cottage cheese. You can also try nuts like almonds or walnuts if you want something crunchy but healthy!

Easy to digest foods
Yogurt with fruit, fruit smoothies with protein powder, cheese and whole grain crackers, avocado toast with egg whites on top are some ideas of easy to digest post workout snacks you can consume.

What to eat AFTER your workout
If you’re wondering when to eat after a workout, the correct answer is within an hour of your workout, so that you don’t lose muscle mass. That’s because your body needs a quick influx of carbohydrates and protein after a workout to help it repair itself and get ready for the next time you exercise.

High carb, low fat foods
Choosing foods that are high in carbs and low in fat are ideal since those types of foods are easiest for your body to digest and absorb quickly. Try whole grain breads, fruits and vegetables, or even pasta if you like it.

Lean protein
Protein helps to burn fat, build muscle mass and repair damaged tissue from exercise; it also helps regulate appetite—so eating protein after a workout can help prevent cravings later on in the day! Choose lean proteins like chicken breast or fish; avoid processed meats like sausage links or bacon

Dehydration can make you feel tired, so make sure you’re drinking enough water after working out so that you feel energized instead of like collapsing on the couch with a gallon of ice cream. Water is not only necessary post workout it is also an ideal pre workout drink.

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