One question I often hear is “What should I eat before and after a workout to optimize performance and enhance muscle growth and recovery?”
Before a Workout :
Think about this….when you are working out you want enough energy to last your whole workout. No one wants to tire out before they’ve pushed their muscles to the max, so you need a meal that will keep you energized. A meal containing complex carbohydrates is exactly what you need for your workout because they release energy at a steady rate. Some good pre-workout, complex carb choices include bananas, melon and sweet potatoes.
Pre-Workout Choices for Meal Options
Banana and a glass of almond milk
Apple with a handful of nuts
Nonfat plain yogurt with berries
After a Workout:
Your post-workout meal should be eaten within an hour of ending your workout to replenish your glycogen and potassium stores and feed your body the protein it needs to repair muscle tissue. Ideally, you want to choose lean proteins and carbohydrates that are metabolized easily, so your body can quickly deliver nutrients where they have to go. Chicken, fish, eggs and whey are all good post-workout protein sources, and bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and raisins are rich in both potassium and glycogen.
Post-Workout Meal Options
Grilled chicken breast with sweet potato
Egg whites with tomato and steamed spinach
Protein shake with fresh fruit
Finally, don’t forget to rehydrate! An essential part of your pre and post-workout meals is water. The AARP recommends that you drink about one cup of water for each 15 minutes of exercise you perform.
What other meals/snacks do you find that benefit you?