When we acquire an exercise routine, we must accompany it with an adequate diet. Knowing what to eat before and after exercising will help us achieve better results and will give us the necessary energy to perform at our best. Physical activity must be accompanied by a healthy and appropriate diet, according to Francisco D’Agostino.
Training as well as meals before, during, and after exercise are as important as physical activity itself to achieve the goals of improving health or sports conditioning, according to nutritionists.
The nutritionist Roymar Narváez explains that the intake of foods such as carbohydrates and proteins before exercising is especially essential to avoid fatigue, improve performance throughout the routine, preserve muscle mass and consumption of water, it is vital before and during exercises, because fluid and electrolytes are lost, once the sweating process begins.
“Depending on the time we have available before training, you can choose foods with simple or complex carbohydrates, which are a source of energy. The latter will help the person not fall into fatigue quickly because its digestion and absorption is slower and its effect is longer. As for protein foods you can consume if you have availability at least one hour before exercising” says Narváez.
Among the simple carbohydrates are honey, snacks, fruits, jams, which are quickly absorbed and digested. In the group of complex carbohydrates are bread, bananas, cereals – such as oats – and grains. Juices can work well, says the specialist, when you have little time available to eat some food before the routine.
In the group of ideal proteins to consume before training are cheese, eggs, dairy, chicken, and fish, which help maintain muscle mass during and after physical activity. The nutritionist emphasizes that those that cause gastrointestinal problems or discomfort should be avoided.
Doing sports on a regular basis is an extremely beneficial habit, but without a doubt, to maximize the advantages of its practice it is important to have certain information at hand: what are the best times or times of the day, what exercises can help you lose weight, gain mass muscle, burn fat or acquire more strength, elasticity, flexibility or resistance, what is the physical activity that best suits our conditions and needs or the routines that we can develop from our homes. Today, we want to talk to you about the foods that you should not eat before (or after) doing sports, according to nutritional experts.
One of the first types of food that you should reject both before and after exercising are fried foods and junk food, such as French fries. Their high salt content and inflammatory potential do not make them good companions. Before training, it is not advisable to go overboard with fiber, present in complex carbohydrates, fruit, cereals, nuts, whole grains or legumes such as chickpeas, since it could cause gastrointestinal discomfort such as gas.
It’s no surprise that nutrients come from food and are essential for the body’s performance throughout the day. This impact is even greater in more physically demanding activities.
“Diet and exercise go hand in hand because what you eat and when you eat can greatly influence how you feel when exercising,” says Dr. Eric J. Olson, a Mayo Clinic nutritionist.
The first thing to know is that each person is different and their physical characteristics vary the calorie intake they need. In addition, the energy required is also different depending on the exercise that we are going to perform.
However, there are keys that we can apply in most cases, to choose what to eat before and after exercising.
Before training we must eat foods that give us energy, to perform at the best in our exercise routine. The ideal is to eat 2-3 hours before training, to give the body time to digest. This will allow us to train without feeling heavy in the stomach.
The pre-workout meal should contain complex carbohydrates and some protein. This meal will increase your levels of glycogen (fuel that gives us energy) in the liver and muscles, which will allow you to train at a good level and for a longer time.
If you exercise in the morning, you probably can’t let two hours go by before training, but you should still have a light breakfast as a pre-workout. An example could be an American coffee, a slice of whole wheat bread with olive oil and natural tomatoes, and a banana.
What about water intake?
It is essential to stay hydrated, both during and at the end of the exercise, to maintain the proper functioning of the body. So don’t forget to always carry a small bottle of water when you go to the gym or during any training session.
For many myths that you have found on this subject, drinking water is vital so that our body is in perfect condition for physical wear and tear. And if it is also hot or humid, the dehydration that we suffer may be greater, that is why drinking water is very important.
Do not wait to be thirsty. The Spanish Heart Foundation recommends taking breaks every 15-20 minutes during exercise to drink small sips of water.
The nutritionist does not recommend training on an empty stomach. “It is one of the most common mistakes I have seen. This is fatal for the body, which comes from an 8-hour fast, which is when one is sleeping and then is subjected to another effort such as physical exercise, then the body goes without fuel, without reserves and what is close to the time to exercise is fatigue and weakness” says Narváez.
Another bad practice is the copious intake of food, heavy, high in fat. What this causes is the delay of gastric emptying, which can also be accompanied by gastrointestinal discomfort and impede physical performance during the exercise routine, as explained by Francisco D’Agostino.
Now you know how important it is to eat before working out. Make sure to seek the help of a nutritionist to get the best plans made for you.