Best Time to Eat and Drink When Working Out

By Jennifer Grayeb - POSTED ON 18 June 2012

CATEGORY: BEE Active Improving Performance

Post-workout smoothieMany people don’t realize that eating and drinking well are just as important as consistently getting out to exercise. It’s not just about what you eat and drink, but it is also important to eat and drink at the right times to maximize the benefits of your workouts.  When you work out, your body burns through carbohydrates first, and then fat, to give your muscles the energy they need.  If you do a high intensity workout, you can easily burn through all the fuel stored in your muscles.  Here is what you need to do to maximize your body’s fuel.

When to Eat

You should eat before and after your workout, and drink before, after, and during.  Before your workout, make sure that you are eating foods with carbs.  Keep the meal small so that you don’t feel full, and avoid sugars.

Right after your workout, you should eat a snack that is high in carbs to restore some of the fuel your muscles burned during your workout.  This will help you feel better after intense training.

About an hour after you’re done, you should have some protein. Since building muscles requires you to wear your muscles and have your body repair them, you can help your body with this by making sure you are good on the amount of protein you eat. Finally, make sure that you are staying hydrated with water throughout the process.

What to Eat

You want to eat foods that have complex carbs such as whole grain pasta, rice, and breads.  You also want to eat fruits and vegetables for your sugars. Try to avoid simple sugars such as candy and some nutritional bars, as these can lead to low blood sugar levels when you’re working out. Also, simple carbs, such as those found in fruit juice and soda, should be avoided, especially during workouts. They can cause cramps, nausea, and vomiting.

Finally, when eating protein, stick to lean proteins like chicken or tuna, to help you repair your muscles.  Remember, eating properly can help you get the most out of your training.

What do you eat pre and post workout? Leave a comment and let me know! 

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