June 21, 2024

F1000 Scientist

Health to Life

The Right Foods to Eat Before, During & After Your Workout

2 min read

When you start out on your exercise regime you should have a good idea what foods are going to help you along the way to getting fitter. If you put the wrong fuel in a car you wouldn’t expect it to go very far before it broke down. The same thing goes for the human body.

You must have had something to eat before you exercise. I have seen people at the gym close to passing out because they haven’t eaten something that day. Please do not think you can starve yourself and then workout. You simply can’t. This is not a way of losing weight rather it is a recipe of doing yourself some serious harm. Eat healthily and exercise and you will get fitter and lose weight.

I normally eat a couple of bananas thirty minutes before I work out. These are packed full of complex carbohydrates that will help keep you going for the full workout.

Unless you are working out for an hour plus you really shouldn’t need to eat anything whilst you are exercising. We have all seen endurance athletes chomping their way through bananas or energy bars whilst running but for the likes of me and you there is no need. Just ensure that you are fully hydrated and keep a bottle of water close by in case you need a drink. Some people feel the need for energy drinks but I have never drunk one. Water is good and will see you through to the end of your workout.

After working out please don’t think that you shouldn’t eat. I have heard some people at the gym saying they weren’t going to eat anything for the rest of the day as they didn’t want to put their weight back on! This is simply wrong. After working out your body need to be replenished as it’s energy reserves are low and failing to do this is not doing your body any good. Eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates such as pasta or beans as these are also low in calories. I would normally eat a meal within two hours of finishing a workout. I still lose weight and get fitter by doing this and I know I am not damaging my body.

When looking at food generally, try to avoid processed food as on most occasions it has had salt and sugar added to it in the processing cycle. Try to chose simple fruit, vegetables, white meat and fish in your diet and not only will you get fitter you will remain healthy.

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