Experiment with your eating schedule to see what works best for you. Keep these tips in mind:
-A high-carbohydrate, low-fat snack is easily digested and normalizes blood sugar.
-Avoid fatty meals or snacks, because they may stay in your stomach for long periods of time.
-Meal should be moderate in protein, i.e., just enough to satisfy hunger.
-Drink lots of fluids. Your snack can be a liquid meal such as a fruit shake.
-A light workout can be preceded with a light snack, but leave more lead time for intense workouts.
Depending on how heavy a meal you have eaten, wait at least 30 minutes to two hours before exercising. The bigger the meal the longer you will need to wait. If you just eat a light snack such as pretzels or a fruit drink, you should be ready to work out within 30 minutes.
If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to eat breakfast. That may mean one to two hours before your workout. Most of the energy you got from dinner the previous night is used up by morning and your blood sugar may be low. If you don't eat, you may feel sluggish or lightheaded when you exercise. If you plan to exercise within an hour after breakfast, eat a lighter breakfast or drink something to raise your blood sugar, such as a sports drink. Emphasize carbohydrates for maximum energy.
Good Pre Workout options include: Whole-grain cereals or bread, low-fat milk, juice, and bananas.
If you're not a fan of eating in the morning before you work out, try a sports drink or have a bigger bedtime snack the night before. And remember, if you normally have coffee in the mornings, a cup or two before your workout is probably OK. Just don't try any foods or drinks for the first time before a workout, or you risk an upset stomach.
Eat foods rich in carbohydrates during the hour or two following your workout and you should be enhancing your energy reserves for the next day's workout. Also, after you exercise, drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body. Research shows that fatigue during exercise can be related to low levels of water and stored carbohydrates. Since we use carbohydrates as energy during exercise (including many forms of resistance training), we need to replenish these storage depots after a workout. This will assist weight trainers but is especially important for people who do a lot of aerobic exercise (more than 60 minutes) on consecutive days.
In addition, consumption of protein is necessary during your post-exercise meal. It will help rebuild the tissues damaged during your workout. In addition, protein will facilitate carbohydrate storage to improve recovery if it is consumed with carbohydrates during the initial two hours after a workout.
To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within two hours of your exercise session if possible. If you aren't hungry after your workout, drink juice or a sports drink to provide replenishing carbohydrates.
Good Post-workout food choices include: Yogurt and fruit, peanut butter or meat sandwich, string cheese and crackers, nuts and dried fruit, and a regular meal with meat, starch, and cooked vegetable or salad.
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Brett Lechtenberg is Utah's top expert on safety. He has trained thousands of people to empower themselves both physically and mentally with his fitness programs at Personal Mastery Martial Arts and iLoveKickboxing-Sandy. Learn more at Brett's websites Sandy Kickboxing Classes and Karate Classes Sandy Utah.
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