This is a contributed post about workout eating by Kennith Campbell with Ultraslide.com
A large component of a good workout is the food you eat before and after. Food is fuel and without the right fuel, your workouts will not be maximized and your recovery will be slower and not as good. There are certain foods that you should eat before and after working out to make sure that your body has everything it needs to maintain optimal functioning and fitness.
Pre and Post Workout Eating
Three to six hours before you plan to workout, you want to eat a meal rich in carbohydrates. These should be complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, whole grains and couscous. You want to avoid complex carbohydrates that are also rich in fiber, such as broccoli and lentils because these can cause indigestion and gas and these can inhibit your workout. Complex carbohydrates are easy to digest and are long-lasting so that your body can take advantage of the energy they provide for several hours.
About one to two hours prior to exercise, go for a high carbohydrates snack, such as whole grains, granola and fruits. These will offer more energy and more glycogen so that you have the endurance necessary to power through.
You also need a little protein and fat before you workout. Along with your high-carbohydrate meal three to six hours before a workout, you want to get in a little lean protein, such as chicken and a little healthy fats, such as many types of fish and nuts. These will further enhance your endurance and allow you to tackle things like long-distance biking or a long practice for whatever sport that you play.
If you need something during a workout, you want something that has a combination of carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Some choices include yogurt, peanut butter on whole grain crackers and some cheese. These will further your endurance and energy when you start to feel tired.
You also need water before and during a workout. The general recommendations is about 24 ounces an hour prior and during a workout, for every 15 minutes of exercise, you should be drinking eight ounces of water.
Once you complete your workout, you want to eat within 30 minutes so that your body has what it needs to properly recover. First, you need to replenish your glycogen and for this you will need carbohydrates. Whole wheat pasta is always a popular choice because it is easy and quick to cook and it is jam-packed with carbohydrates. You also need protein to help feed your muscles so that they can properly recover. If you are going with pasta for your carbohydrates, try chicken for your protein and create chicken pasta. Healthy fats are also good to get and this can be done by adding a little extra virgin olive oil to your pasta. Vegetables are also a good choice because you will also want to replenish vitamins and minerals.
On top of food, you also need to rehydrate after a workout. To know exactly how much water you need, you should be weighing yourself before getting your workout in. Then, once you finish your workout, weight yourself again. For every pound that you lost during exercise, drink 20 to 24 ounces of water. Once you have drunk enough, weight yourself to make sure that you are back to your pre-workout weight.
About the Author – Kennith Campbell writes for Ultraslide. Aside from constantly reviewing slideboards and sporting equipment, he spends his down time going on walks with his wife and 2 dogs.