By Akshata Kamath
Does working out for weight loss and body toning mean consuming no food at all or consuming food rich in protein exclusively? Are these your dilemmas when pre-workout and post-workout meals are concerned?
Let us explore the right ways in which one needs to plan their meal for efficient completion of workout. Coping with the nutrition is of vital importance during physical activity. One can be allowed for a pre-workout meal before starting the physical activity so as to sustain their energy throughout the workout. The meal should comprise of carbohydrates, protein, water and must be limited in fats. Carbohydrates provides energy to the cells which when taken up by the muscle cells helps in exercising longer. Proteins aids towards the repair of the muscle cells that are prone to tearing during the exercise.Water keeps you hydrated and replenish the stores in the body which would have been lost as sweat during exercise. Pre-workout meal needs to be consumed 1- 2 hours before the workout schedule. Consuming meals immediately prior to workout can aid to gastrointestinal discomfort and inhibit your ability to complete your workout schedule. One should avoid high fat foods like deep fried foods, cheese, complete breakfast coated with butter as it makes the individual lethargic, bloated and nauseous during exercise. One can pick fresh fruits, dry fruits, nuts, low fat energy bars, egg, milk for their pre workout meal.
Being exhausted post workout is one of the signs given by the body to show depletion of glucose in it. We put in a lot of efforts to complete the physical activity and perform better every time so as to burn a lot of calories during the process . It is very important to understand what you need to eat after workout as well just like focusing on what to eat before workout. Post- workout meal is essential in restoring the glucose and the glycogen stores in the body which would have been used up by the muscles during the exercise. A small meal can be consumed within half an hour post workout. The meal should comprise of carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores and to provide energy to the body, proteins to ensure recovery and growth of muscle, water to prevent dehydration as lot of water and electrolytes are lost when you sweat during workout. Healthy fat which includes omega-3 and omega-6 helping in insulating and protecting our vital organs. Dietary fats are not as bad as you think they are. One need not completely omit fat from the meal but consuming it in moderation is beneficial. Whole milk, almonds, walnuts will contribute to healthy fat in the diet. Combination of carbohydrate and protein should be consumed in 3:1 ratio which basically helps in sparing protein for tissue repair. One can pick whey protein, protein bars,nuts, fish oils, grains, multigrain bread, fruits, sweet potato for their post workout meal. If you are unable to eat a meal in first half an hour after workout, it important for you to try to eat the meal within 2 hours at least.