Eating right and having a good fitness routine is essential for overall health and wellness. Many people do not realize how important it really is to fuel your body before your workout and how the nutrients that go into your body can effect how much you push yourself during those tough workouts.
But fueling your body after your workout is just as important also. You can’t just say to yourself, “I worked out really hard today, now I think I’ll have a carton of ice cream!”
Of course, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, but your after workout food should be just as nutritious as the food you eat beforehand. Here’s a list of the best pre and post workout foods and why your body needs them.
Whole Wheat Bagel or Toast: Your body needs carbohydrates in order to get through an intense workout. The complex carbs in whole grains deliver a steady flow of energy rather than releasing all that energy at once. This is how you can get through those long, grueling fitness routines.
Protein Shake: Protein is great for restoring damaged cells and repairing your body in every way. The protein provided in protein shakes are also full of amino acids which are great to have right before you sweat.
Carrots: Like whole grains, carrots also have complex carbs to strengthen your muscles and potassium to control blood pressure and muscle contractions.
Oatmeal With Berries: Oatmeal has some natural sugar to it, but unlike added sugars that cause you to burn out quickly, oatmeal actually gradually releases the sugar to keep your energy high throughout your whole workout. Adding blueberries and strawberries is also great because of the antioxidants in them which are full of energy as well!
Low Fat Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is a simple snack to eat before a workout because it’s full of protein, calcium and carbs. Add in some vegetables such as broccoli for extra fiber and nutrients.
Chocolate Milk: Believe it or not, drinking chocolate milk can be more nutritious after a workout than a sports drink because it has lots of calcium, potassium and electrolytes. The chocolate milk will replenish the carbs and protein lost during the workout.
Eggs: Whether you like them scrabbled, sunny side up or boiled, eggs are simply full of protein. This will cause your body to repair any pulled muscles or strains that you made have from working out.
Orange Juice: Orange juice is full of vitamin C to keep you feeling full and revived afterwards!
Granola: Granola is so great after a good workout because it not only is simple and good for a quick snack, but it has protein, carbs and healthy fats to keep you going for the rest of your day. Feel free to mix in some fruit and greek yogurt into your granola.
Cheese And Crackers: Choose a cracker that has whole grains and is high in fiber or a gluten-free cracker with no added oils or fats. Also, try to choose a low fat cheese. You will have a great savory snack that is healthy and high in calcium too.
Grilled Chicken: A great dinner option would be a seasoned, grilled chicken breast with steamed vegetables. Chicken is great because you can prepare it in so many ways and there are many different seasonings and sauces available. Chicken is high in protein and carbs to fill you up without making you feel too full.
Knowing the best pre and post workout foods and why your body needs them is absolutely key to accomplishing those hardcore workouts and getting through the rest of your day feeling stronger than ever. Try incorporating these foods into your diet before and after your workouts and before you know it, you’ll be on top of your fitness routine!