Exercise and eating go hand in hand. But maintaining a healthy lifestyle, or kick-starting your New Year’s fitness goals doesn’t mean starting a crash diet, or only eating raw foods. It’s about knowing what to eat when and what types of foods can help you make the most out of your workout!
A healthy breakfast is key
Breakfast may be the hardest meal to commit to. You may be in a rush on your way to work, late to class, or prefer the 5:00am workout slot. Either way, you should eat something. If you like to be the first one in the gym in the morning, snack on some fresh fruit before lifting weights. If you can squeeze in some protein that would be your best bet. Peanut butter, yogurt, milk, or toast will get you started.
Snacking throughout the day can not only speed up their metabolism, but can also keep your energy up throughout the day—this can help you avoid mid-day crashes and help you through the urge to skip your afternoon Zumba class.
Plan your meals around your workout. Generally speaking, if you’re planning on eating a large meal, don’t work out for three or four hours afterwards—it can make you lethargic and your muscles will be working overtime to keep up. If you’re planning on having a small meal or a snack, you can do that one or two hours before your workout. The key is you. How do you feel?
Eat when you get home
Your post-workout meal may be the most important one yet. Eating meals that contain both carbohydrates and protein within two hours of your workout, will help your muscles recover quicker and more effectively.
This may seem like the most cliché answer, but it’s popular because it’s true. Water is a key component to a successful exercise routine. Drink water before, after, and during your workout to stay hydrated.
Listen to body
When it comes to food and exercise, everyone is different. You will know better than anyone what works best for you. Trust yourself.