Eating the Right Foods Pre-and Post-exercise
Eating is a necessary warm-up and cool down for the exercises
you engage in. Whether you’re working cardio, body building or
working out in some other way, you need to be prepared with
the right nutrients to (a) get you through the workout, and (b)
help you rebuild afterwards.
Just as your mind doesn’t work as well when you go to work on
an empty stomach, your body won’t perform at its best when
you don’t prepare it with the right nutrients. It needs energy to
power those muscles for the optimal amount of time.
What Foods Can Do For You
Certain foods will act like gas in your system, fueling you on. Those foods are pretty normal to your diet.
You want to focus on the carbohydrates and the fluids: breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, vegetables,
and water. Anything that has carbohydrates fits in this category.
It can even include eating a slice of pizza or chicken Caesar salad. The important thing is not what kind of
carbohydrates you eat, but that you eat ones your body is accustomed to.
There’s a saying in running that you never do anything new before or during a race. If you’ve never tried
Gu before, do not try it anywhere near race day.
You have no idea how your body will react. There is a chance that you will be just fine, but many people
react negatively enough to ruin their race.
Warning At Your Limit
The same concept applies to exercising in general. Avoid trying new things just before you put your body
to the limits.
It already knows how to digest your “world-famous spaghetti” or Little Caesar’s pizza. Your digestive
track usually won’t have trouble with these things.
Give it the energy it needs by feeding it the
carbohydrates you know. Also fuel it with the water it
needs to keep your body cool throughout the workout.
After the Workout Food
Once the workout is done, what should you eat to build
yourself back up again? Just as your body begins to
groan for dinner before you clock out, your body groans for healing nutrients after a strenuous workout.
The body needs energy again, so the pre-workout snacks are a great idea to continue providing your
muscles the energy they need to work. The next thing it needs is helping rebuilding your muscles.
Working out your muscles necessarily means that you tear them apart. The more you tear them apart,
the more you need to supply the right nutrients to build them back up.
Protein is the nutrient to help. These foods are meats (bacon, beef, cooked chicken, and fish), tofu, soy
beans, nuts, yogurt, milk, eggs and surprisingly, cheese.
The body can take those proteins and weave stronger muscles for the next time you work out. It’s the
best way to nutritionally aid your body in getting stronger.
Provide a protein rich snack or meal to rebuild your muscles again. Always remember to keep yourself
hydrated throughout all this as well.
Just because your body’s done working out doesn’t mean it’s done working to fix you. Give it the coolant
it needs to stay at a healthy temperature.
Nordic Track supports exercise in all its forms and provides treadmills for indoor runners to get their
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Photo Credit: Jaredpolin, Ecstaticist