Exercise is a vital part of any weight loss plan. But just as important is making sure you’re fueling your body before and after your workout to optimize your calorie burning and muscle building potential.
A common misconception is that working out on an empty stomach will actually promote more weight loss, but that’s not true. There have been studies done that have proven just the opposite... so plan that snack before your next workout!
You want to try and eat something about 45 minutes to an hour before your next workout. If you don’t have that much time, then try and at least have a small snack with some water. Before a workout, the simpler, the better as far as digestion is concerned. Fiber, fat and protein all require a lot of effort to digest and you want your body focused on giving you energy to exercise, not digest! You want to stick with simple carbohydrates. You also don’t want to try new foods before a workout just in case you don’t tolerate them well.
Snack ideas before a Workout:
Pretzels or crackers
Cereal and low fat milk
A piece of fruit
Toast with jelly
After a workout it’s just as important to eat to help rebuild stores. Try to eat something between 30 and 60 minutes after your workout. You don’t need a large amount of calories for recovery, but you do want to try and get between 200 and 400 calories and 10-20 grams of protein post-workout. Your ideal post-workout snack will include a carbohydrate and protein. Also be sure to rehydrate with water afterwards, unless you’ve worked out for greater than 60 minutes or in intense heat, then replenish with a sports drink.
Snack Ideas after a Workout:
Sandwich with peanut butter or turkey
String cheese or peanut butter with crackers or fruit
Pita or crackers and hummus
Yogurt and fruit
Happy exercising AND eating!!
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