What to Eat Before and After a Workout

Pre-Workout

Aim to eat a snack about one hour before your scheduled workout. The best thing to eat is a good in simple or complex carbohydrates like fruit or grains. You can also try some oatmeal (complex carbohydrate) with berries (simple carbohydrate/sugar) and cottage cheese (fats/dairy/protein). If that's too heavy, have a piece of whole-wheat toast (grain) with peanut butter (protein/fat) and banana (fruit/ sugar) and a glass of milk (dairy).c

The idea of skipping your pre-workout meal so that you burn more calories is incorrect. Not eating before your workout negates the caloric burn and doesn't provide you with any extra fuel to burn during your workout. Avoid alcohol, which dehydrates you, and heavy meats, which sit undigested in your stomach throughout the workout and can make you feel sluggish or sick.

Post-Workout

After you're finished working out, you want to try to eat something within an hour. You need to refuel your muscles after draining them of their glycogen stores. Aim to eat the same combo of nutrients as your pre-workout snack but add in some vegetables, too. For a light snack, try yogurt and fruit.

Remember your body is a machine that needs fuel to burn, so eat to fuel the machine. Otherwise, your body will rely on muscle tissues to fuel exercise, which is counterproductive to your workout.

Don't Forget the Water

About an hour before your workouts, you should drink 17-20 oz of water. During your workout, you should consume 7-10 oz of water ever 10-20 minutes, as you are actively losing water through sweat. You should also drink eight oz of water right before and right after your workout.c

References

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