Food is one of the most essential elements for the survival of any living being. Humans consume different varieties of food that directly or indirectly indicate people’s health and lifestyle. The type of food determines the health condition of people. For the extra benefit of being healthy and staying fit, people lean towards physical exercise and diet. Physical exercise helps to build a strong body but the right amount of food makes the benefits of a workout more effective and sustainable. Being a health-conscious person doesn’t only mean eating lighter or healthier food, proper meals are to be taken in an appropriate time and in a reasonable duration.
People who work out seem to automatically lean towards a healthier choice of food because in general psychology of people, they are not open to giving up the gains that are result of workout. There should be a proper meal planned that had to be taken pre-workout and post workout for getting the maximum benefit. While working out different people have a different target to achieve, some train to lose weight, some to gain strength or some just to stay fit. In that case, people should be clever in consuming correct type of food in adequate amount.
Food before workout
While eating before workout, the main point to be considered is that, the food must act as fuel, which is light and that provides constant energy during workout and help in avoiding weakness, dizziness and nausea of any kind. taking such things in consideration, following food can be preferred before workout:
1. Caffeine/ Coffee:
Many studies have shown coffee to be very effective in giving the energy boost that everyone needs in workout. Coffee before workout helps to boost strength for difficult and sustainable workout session. While professional athletes take caffeine as a supplement, coffee in moderation helps in mimicing the effect of caffeine. Studies have also shown result that leans towards coffee being effective in increasing fat burn process.
People with active physical activites consider banana to be a very natural and sustainable fuel for the body for long workout session. According to study conducted by David C Nieman and team, banana is a very cost efficient source of energy because it is very rich in carbohydrates and potassium. Banana is compact with more nutrients than other fruit alternatives that helps in providing sustainable energy as well as stabilization of sugar level in the body.
3. Oats and Whole grains:
Carbohydrate helps in providing required energy for a body to sustain workout. Oats and Wholegrains are rich in carbohydrate that provides tons of energy during the workout that releases slowly throughout workout. This is a very sustainable food before workout. These food helps in conserving and releasing energy as per required.
4. Yogurt, fresh fruit and Smoothies:
Yogurt are considered to be very practical, easy and nutritious food before workout. Mixing up yogurt and fresh fruits can help maximize nutrients as well as provide the sustainable energy that is required for heavy physical activity. Smoothies work in a very similar way. The only difference is we can easily add or reduce the ingredients in smoothies as per requirement, preference as well as taste. That makes it very practical, accessible and healthy food to consume before any kind of workout.
Eggs are the most common and beneficial source of energy specially in the case of athletes and fitness professionals as well as fitness enthusiasts. Eggs are very reliable and cheap source of protein in rural places. Eggs are considered to be lean source of protein and also has various micronutrients in a very compact form. It is a healthy source of fat that is very much preferred by people who want to lead healthier lifestyle.
6. Dried fruit and nuts:
Dried fruits and nuts help to provide energy to the body required for workout. These can be mixed and taken with yogurt, smoothie, wholegrains or just separately. Such food are considered very beneficial and effective for required energy boost. They are very rich in nutrients required in human body.
7. Protein Shake:
In listing the food that are good before workout, protein shakes are considered to be an easier choice. Though people dont prefer taking supplement in their regular diet, protein shakes are considered to be preferred by professional atheletes and fitness personnel. Protein shakes generally contains concentrated protein that are required to provide a quick, easy and effective boost in athletic performance. As there is no extra nutrients in this, professionals prefer it for quicker results. Protein shakes in moderation can be very effective before workout.
Food after workout
After a proper workout session, good food plays a very vital role in enhancing the effectiveness of workout in the body. Physical activities consumes a lot of energy due to which people may beel lack of energy and also hungry after workout. Energy in body has to be restored as soon as possible to perform other day to day activities normally. To avoid weakness and head a fruitful day, it is necessary to incorporate nutritious food post workout. Though it may vary from one person’s fitness goal to other, we must keep in mind in providing properly nutritious food to the body after workout in an adequate quantity as per fitness goal, which can be building strength, losing weight, gaining muscles and many more. Food with right amount of carbohydrates, protein as well as healthy fat has to be incorporated in post workout meal. If there is a gap between workout and meal, atleast snack should be considered.
To recover the muscles from workout, proper meal with necessary nutrition should be consumed. Following food helps the speedy recovery and effective gaining of strength after a workout:
1. Milk/Milk Products:
Milk is a very rich source of energy. There is a good composition of protein and fat and micro-nutrients present in milk. Milk is a very good source of protein that is essential for energy replenishment and repair of muscles. Milk and milk based products like cheese and yogurt are very helpful post workout food. This provides a wider range of options of food that can be easily taken after a good workout. Milk and dairy products are very beneficial to improve not just muscle recovery, but bone health as well. Milk based food are proven to be helping in improving bone density which overall impacts the strength of body. Milk can be consumed with other essential foods or separately.
Eggs are the most common and accessible source of protein that is very essential for recovery of muscles after workout. Not only this, eggs also consist of healthy fat that are essential to a physically active body. Fat in eggs are easily digestible and beneficial. The other benefit of egg is that it can be eaten in many forms. As per taste, preference, culture and time, there are various different ways to egg.
3. Carbohydrate-rich food:
Carbohydrates, protein and fat are the main macronutrients in food. Though people try to avoid carbohydrate to maintain a healthier diet, carbohydrates is one of the major nutrient to be consumed after workout. Carbohydrate helps to replenish required amount of glucose and helps in proteing production that promotes easy and faster recovery of body and helps to get best posssible results in time. Common food like rice, oatmeal, wholewheat bread, legumes, potato and fruits like ripe bananas, mangoes and melons are a healthier choices of carbohydrates. Though carbohydrates are good, it is preferred to avoid complex carbohydrate for healthier long term results.
4. Lean meat:
Lean meat are a healthier alternative for the non vegeterians who plan to eat healthy. Consumption of lean meat in fair amount can boost the recovery of muscle and promote healthier lifestyle. Meat like chicken and fish are a very good source of lean meat. Lean meat can be consumed in a healthier way by avoiding excessive use of oil and spices. Grilled chicken/ fish are much more healthier and tasty way to consume lean meat in a healthy and most effective manner. Lean meat helps in muscle recovery and growth in an optimum rate.
5. Nut Butter:
Nut butter like peanut butter, almond butter are very rich source of protein, healthy fats and other essential nutrients. Practically nut butter are not preferred in meals, they can be considered very good snacks. They can be mixed with smoothies, and oatmeals, made into sandwich and also separately. Nutbutter are light and healthier snack that is very easily accessible and efficient after workout. As they have a nice amount of nutrients, they are essential snacks for whoever indulged in fitness. They help in quick muscle recovery and effective growth.
Whether it is beforeor after a workout, water is the most essential element of workout. Hydration helps to absorb the nutrition in body, gives energy, and helps preserve as well as properly utilize energy. For a healthy body, if anyone is considering a workout, it is essential for them to properly drink water in sufficient amount. Water helps to nourish muscles, control body temperature and energy. Therefore, besides other food that can be consumed before and after a workout, hydration is the most essential part of fitness.