When you head to the gym before breakfast, I bet you aren’t thinking much about the impact of nutrition on workout performance. If you have ever wondered what to eat before working out or what to eat after a workout, Dr. Dana Ryan, Manager of Sports Performance and Education at Herbalife, is sharing her list of 5 foods to eat before and after a workout. Dr. Dana has worked with some of the world’s most elite athletes in support of their ultimate nutritional and career goals.
5 foods to eat before a workout
Banana: Bananas are a great pre-workout choice because they are not only an easily digestible energy source they also have high levels of potassium, which is lost through sweat.
Greek Yogurt: The combination of carbohydrates and protein make Greek yogurt great, especially before a strength training workout. Many people avoid carbohydrates before lifting but your muscles still require carbs to help you produce power, and the dairy based whey and casein proteins give you both fast and slow digesting proteins.
Cream of Wheat: Seriously. It is full of energy like oatmeal but is much lower in fiber making it a faster acting energy source and much easier on your digestive system while you are working out.
Sports Drink: A carbohydrate and electrolyte containing drink such as coconut water is a good way to properly fuel and hydrate your body before exercise. Being as little as 2% dehydrated can have a negative impact on your workout.
Beet Root Juice: Enhancing nitric oxide (NO) levels in the body helps to increase blood flow to working muscles. Consuming beet root juice is a great way to naturally up your NO and help you get adequate oxygen for energy production during exercise.
5 foods to eat after a workout
Protein Shake: Since it’s important to eat within 30-45 minutes of finishing a workout a protein shake is a great option if you don’t feel like a full meal. For endurance based workouts you want to aim for a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio and a 1:1 ratio for resistance based workouts, always with at least 20g of high quality protein.
Pineapple: Pineapple makes an ideal post workout snack because it contains carbohydrates to help restore depleted glycogen levels but it also has an enzyme called Bromelain which can aid in reducing post exercise inflammation.
Salmon: Salmon is a great source of protein to help your muscles recover and start to rebuild but they also contain omega-3’s. Omega-3’s have numerous health benefits ranging from cardiovascular to joint health.
Chicken: It is crucial to consume enough protein to start rebuilding your muscles and Chicken, like salmon is another great source of protein. An 6oz chicken breast contains about 45g of protein, which fits right in with the 25-45g of protein you want to shoot for post-workout.
Tart Cherry Juice: Recent research suggests that the anthocyanins contained in tart cherry juice can be effective at fighting post workout exercise induced inflammation. Blending tart cherry juice into your post workout shake is a great way to help you recovery!
Now that you know what to eat before working out or what to eat after a workout, which of these do you think you will add to your routine?
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