Borrowing a line from Shakespeare -âTo eat or not to eatâ (before a workout), that is the question. Seriously though, this is one of the most often asked questions when a person is getting serious about exercising and wanting to get the maximum fat loss and muscle growth. Just as your car needs gas to run, your body needs fuel to perform.
The optimal time to eat a meal is three to four hours before your workout. This will help prevent digestive issues, but still give you fuel to power your workout. It is recommended to eat healthy carbs such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy and protein. Low fat yogurt or milk and lean protein is ideal. For example, if you workout in the afternoon, lunch could be vegetable soup with cheese.
If you exercise early in the morning, eating a meal 3-4 hours before your workout will not be feasible. In this case a light snack that is low in fat, easy to digest and small is a good option. A fruit smoothie with a tablespoon of protein is quick and easy. My favorite pre -workout snack is a container of Greek yogurt and a handful of cashews. Also, make sure to hydrate before your workout by drinking at least 16 ounces of water.
Just as it is important to eat before a workout, eating after your workout is essential. The prime time for building muscle is the 30 minutes following exercise. Your muscles are recovering and need fuel to rebuild. This is especially true if you are doing weight lifting exercises. Some of the best home gyms allow you to workout all the major muscle groups in your body. Since these muscle would need to repair after a weight training session, it is important to re-fuel your body.
If you donât like to eat a full meal within this time frame, a snack will do. Make sure it contains some carbs, protein and good fat. Examples include half a turkey sandwich or apple slices with almond butter.
So the answer to the question of when to eat; before or after a workout is both. Before exercise to make sure your body has enough fuel to allow you to give you best effort. After exercise to give your muscles the fuel needed to repair and rebuild. Following these suggestion will you achieve the fit body you desire.