It is very important to eat the right food at the right time and in appropriate proportions. While working out in the gym, we shed a lot of sweats and tears. This workout is just 1 half of the work to get a good physique. The other half is eating quality high protein food at regular intervals. If we disregard the 2nd half, then all the efforts put in the gym might not yield good results.
It’s not only what we eat after the workout that matters but also what we eat before and during the workout. Having a meal with the right nutrients will keep us energized throughout the workout and allow us to perform to our best of potential.
Three macronutrients play an important role in maintaining the functions of the body and provide strength and composition.
This is the primary source of energy for the body and plays an important role while exercising. There are 2 types of carbohydrates-
- Complex: They are not easy to digest but provide slow-release of energy and good nutritional benefit.
- Simple: This does not take much time to digest but provide short-term and fast-releasing energy with little nutritional value.
It is recommended to consume complex carbohydrates such as whole-grains, oats, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Most of us are aware that consuming protein is very important while doing the workout. Protein helps in recovering and repairing the muscles. The body is exposed to strains and stresses while exercising which can cause damage to the muscles. Protein helps in repairing these damages and provides faster recovery. The rich source of proteins can be received from lean meats, eggs, dairy, seeds, nuts, legumes, beans and soy.
Usually, people associate fat with bulgy stomach and chubby cheeks. This is not true. Right quantity of fat in the food helps the metabolism and increases the testosterone level that is required for muscle building. Fats are also responsible for internal health and useful for the brain and other organs. The healthy source of fats is olives, walnuts, almonds and flax seeds.
There are many types of pre-workout meals that one can consume an hour before the workout. They provide the body with a lot of energy that helps in sustaining throughout the workout. Low energy levels will have an impact on the rate of adaptation.
It is recommended to consume a mixture of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Carbs acts as fuel and proteins help in building the muscles. Fats are known for increasing metabolism.
To gain weight, eat brown rice, banana/apple/pineapple, chicken or fish before the workout.
If you are planning to lose weight, then eat sweet potato, chicken or fish at least 1 or 1.5 hours before a workout
The body uses glycogen for energy while exercising that breaks the muscles. To restore the energy, build and repair the muscles and keep the metabolism high, it is important to eat and drink a combination of protein and carbohydrates after 30 minutes or an hour of the workout.
It is important to refuel the body soon after the workout to repair the broken muscles and feel energetic. You should eat the food that provides essential nutrients required in muscle repair and growth.
The foods to eat after a workout-
- Protein shake made of banana, protein powder and almond milk.
- Salad with roasted chickpeas.
- Sautéed or steamed vegetables.
- Whole-wheat bread with peanut butter.
- Omelette, grilled chicken and chocolate milk.
The workout will have a positive impact on the body with the intake of proper calories and macronutrients. It should be in a combination of all 3 macronutrients whether you are going gym for losing weight or building muscles.