Updated: Jun 9, 2021
Workouts are not all we need to focus on to achieve the body we want, our food and diet plays a part too. Read on to find out what kind of food keeps you energized before, throughout and after your workout.
Eating the right foods at the right time
In fitness, one of the most frequently asked questions is: “How can I maximise my performance, calories burnt and stay energized throughout and after my workout?”
The answer is simple: Eat the right foods at the right time!
It is best to first provide your body with the proper nutrition at the most appropriate times in order to maintain blood glucose levels, maximize performance and speed up recovery time.
We have made a quick and easy guide regarding what to eat before and after your workouts to help you achieve your fitness goals while enjoying healthy, delicious meals and snacks.
Before You Workout
Working out without a pre-workout meal is just like driving a car without fuel. You might feel sluggish and lightheaded, hence, limiting your maximum calories burnt and muscles gained.
It is ideal to have your pre-workout meal about 30 minutes to 3 hours before you workout, so that you would have digested your food.
Before your workout, it is important to hydrate yourself with water to replenish the fluids lost during your workout. You can also try drinking alkaline water as it helps revitalize and keep your body balanced by neutralizing the lactic acid buildup in your muscles from your workout.
It is advised to eat healthy and complex carbohydrates, such as whole-wheat breads, and fruits such as bananas. This will ensure that you have fuel throughout your entire workout. It is ideal to eat easily digested carbohydrates such as oatmeal and bananas as they do not make you feel lethargic after consumption.
Along with your carbohydrates, include small amounts of protein, especially if your workout includes weight training. Proteins help your body repair the tears created in our muscle fibers after lifting weights. It is ideal to eat easily digested sources of protein like greek yogurt or a hard-boiled egg.
Below is a list of foods you can eat before your workouts:
Fruits such as apples or bananas
Oatmeal with berries
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
During Your Workout
Remember to frequently hydrate yourself with sips of water in between your workout sets to prevent dehydration and its symptoms, especially since we live in the humid weather of Singapore.
It is not necessary to eat during workouts that are 30 minutes to 1 hour long. If you are working out for periods lasting 1-3 hours or more, you can bring nutritional snacks like bananas or greek yogurt.
After You Workout
When you workout, your body uses the glycogen stored in your muscles as energy. After you finish your workout, you would have exhausted your glycogen stores. Eating foods with carbohydrates and protein will allow your body to repair and build muscles. It also gives you energy and keeps your metabolism high. It is ideal to have your post-workout meal around 30 minutes to 1 hour after you workout. The sooner you eat, the more your body can refill your muscle stores.
Remember to hydrate yourself after your workout. Drinking water after your workout will help you replenish water lost during perspiration and keep you hydrated. It may also help clear your body of lactic acid and prevent muscle cramps. You can also drink chocolate milk. Chocolate can help hydrate as it has high water content and its high carbohydrate content can help you replenish your depleted glycogen stores. Furthermore, it has other nutrients like vitamin D and calcium, these nutrients help the body build and maintain strong bones.
Feed your body foods with protein to help your muscles repair and grow. These foods provide your body with amino acids that are needed to repair muscle proteins that were broken down during your workout and allow you to build new muscle tissue.
Below is a list of foods you can eat after your workouts:
Whole-Wheat Bread with Tuna
Grilled Chicken or Grilled Salmon with Vegetables
In conclusion, remember to time your pre-workout and post-workout meals, always keep yourself hydrated and give your body the aforementioned nutrition. This will enable you to reach your fitness goals while enjoying healthy meals.