When I first started working out, I was having a challenging time figuring out what type of meal plan worked. You need to keep your body efficient while training, so it’s best to consume the right food for optimum performance! But it can be confusing figuring out a proper diet for a workout.
From the exact times to consume food and what type of meals to have, there is a lot to learn. That’s why I did my research and compiled all the information you need to help you out. So read on as I show you how to balance your diet!
A Proper Diet For A Workout
There are a few factors to consider when it comes to fueling your body the right way. It isn’t just about eating something carb-filled before the workout! You also need to have the adequate food and fluids before, during, and after exercise. That way, you maintain blood glucose which improves your performance and recovery time.
However, there aren’t hard-fast rules, nor do you need to follow a very strict schedule! Simply follow any of these tips and see which works best for you:
Before You Workout
- Moderate amount of carbs and protein
- Low in fiber
- Hydrate with fluids
- Familiar foods that your body can tolerate
I recommend that you do not try out any new meals before a workout. You don’t know how your body would react and it may affect your workouts in a wrong way! Also, steer clear from any greasy foods and soft drinks, which can aggravate your stomach and cause discomfort while you exercise.
It’s best to fuel up two to four hours before you exercise. Here are some ideas on what to eat:
- Hydrate a lot with water
- Consume healthy carbs like whole-grain pasta or cereals with skim milk, whole-wheat toast, fat-free yogurt, brown rice, or fruits and vegetables
- Avoid saturated fats and an overload of protein. These digest slower and reduce your performance.
However, if you only have five to ten minutes before your workout, then go for a piece of fruit like a banana or an apple. The key to better energy is to eat carbs you can easily digest. That way, you don’t feel sluggish while exercising.
During Your Workout
You can choose not to consume anything before workouts, that’s entirely up to how your body reacts to it. There’s no need to consume food during workouts that take less than an hour. But if you are a professional athlete or workout vigorously for longer than an hour, then it’s best to consume 50 to 100 calories of carbohydrates.
Great ideas on what you can consume are:
- Low-fat yogurt
- Banana or other chosen fruits
Also, while you are working out, regardless of how long, you must keep your body hydrated! Avoid drinking too much water in one go. Instead, take small and frequent sips. You can also opt for sports drinks, which are best for those who play sports or exercise outside under high temperatures.
After the Workout
Once you’re through with your workout, it’s time to refuel to improve your recovery time while building those muscles! It’s important to focus on protein, which helps the muscles grow and recover. Here are some recommendations on what to feed your body after exercise:
It’s essential to drink water to keep your body hydrated. You can also opt to take in 100% fruit juice for better hydration and carbs.
While you were working out, your body burned a lot of carbohydrates you need to replenish. After all, carbs are the primary source of energy for those muscles! Through healthy carbs like bananas, apples, whole grains, or other vegetables, your body is replenished of the carbs burned.
Protein is essential after the workout for your recovery and muscle growth. Take in up to 20 grams of protein within two hours of your workout.
Wrapping It Up
There are different ways to get the energy you need for a good workout. Besides the ways to adjust your sleep schedule, creating the proper workout schedule and keeping your diet healthy is key.
I hope this article on a proper diet for a workout gave you an idea on what to start eating! Use this as a starting point when making your meal plan for better performance and recovery today.
For those who would like to ask questions or share their tips, comment below. Your thoughts and experiences are much appreciated!