The experts agree that there is a simple formula for fueling your body before and after exercise, despite the fact that everyone has distinct needs and that each workout varies in intensity.

1) Coffee

Reach for something that is easily digested (like a banana) or completely liquid (like coffee) if you are rolling out of bed into your training attire and heading out the door for an early morning workout. According to sports nutritionist, dietitian, and author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook Nancy Clark, coffee is a proven ergogenic aid (performance enhancer) and is not dehydrating as most people think. Caffeine boosts alertness, stimulates the central nervous system, aids in mental clarity, and lessens feelings of exhaustion.

Even while coffee alone offers an energy boost, Clark advises eating something before exercise. Take a sip of orange juice or consume a banana five minutes prior to working exercise; otherwise, your body will go into breakdown mode. You’ll have more energy and a better workout if you eat something. Choose a latte if you need caffeine after working out. Dietitian Sarah Currie explains that a latte provides both protein and carbohydrates. Ask for almond or coconut milk if you’re trying to avoid dairy.

2) Porridge

This carb-rich, ultimate comfort dish makes a great pre-workout meal. It contains a lot of fiber, which makes you feel fuller for longer, is low in fat, and is high in blood sugar-friendly, slowly absorbing carbohydrates. Beta glucan, a soluble fiber found in porridge, has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol. “If you want to burn fat, you need a hard workout, and you need some carbs to get you through the class,” advises Currie. While porridge by itself is the perfect nourishment for the usual gym class, Clark advises adding extra protein if you plan to exercise for a longer period of time.


3) Eggs

After a strenuous workout, eggs make a great snack and are a great food for recovery. They include a lot of protein (approximately six grams per egg) and not much fat (310 kilojoules, on average). They can help you lose weight and give you a feeling of fullness. According to studies, eating eggs for breakfast may help you control your appetite and consume fewer calories for the next 24 hours. Eat eggs with some sort of starch, such as bread or potatoes, but avoid bacon, advises Clark, after working out.

4) Greek yoghurt

Greek (strained) yoghurt, which is a little bit tarter than standard yoghurt and has more carbs and protein (12 to 17 grams per serving, depending on the brand), makes a great pre- and post-workout snack. If you intend to consume yogurt before to working out, Clark advises choosing a flavor you can tolerate well and then adding sugar in the form of berries or banana slices. According to Clark, “Sugar fuels the muscles, so yoghurt with sugar will energise you.” After an exercise, plain yoghurt is a fantastic choice since it provides the protein your muscles need to grow. According to Currie, any muscular breakdown following a workout needs to be repaired. When choosing a yoghurt, Currie suggests staying away from the sugary fruit-at-the bottom types.

5) Nuts and nut butter

According to studies, people who eat nuts have longer, healthier lives and are less likely to suffer from chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, studies have shown that those who eat nuts as a snack are more likely to keep a healthy weight. “You need to feel satisfied to lose weight,” asserts Currie. So eat plenty of nuts, but not too much. Nuts and nut butters include healthy (unsaturated) fat, protein, and carbohydrates, which together help you get through a challenging workout. “Fat offers sustained energy,” asserts Clark. It helps with stamina and is stored in the muscles, making it a wonderful pre-workout snack to take before a lengthy run, hike, or bike ride. Sourdough toast with peanut butter and banana, or a piece of pumpernickel with almond butter or peanut butter are all good choices.

6) Bananas

Because they are quickly digestible and rich in potassium, which helps avoid muscular cramping, bananas are a great pre-workout snack. “If you want to burn fat, you need a hard workout, and you need some carbs to get you through the class,” advises Currie. You can get the carbs and protein you need to build muscle by slicing a banana into plain yoghurt.

7) Berries

When you’re pressed for time and want a quick pre-workout snack, berries are a fantastic choice. Whether you favor strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries, all of them will give you an immediate energy boost and are packed with antioxidants that can help you combat stress brought on by exercise. Berries are a good source of slow-digesting complex carbohydrates that will keep you fueled during your workout. They are also hydrating due to their high water content. Before working out, Clark advises eating meals that will settle down, be soluble, and not bother you later. Anthocyanins and other flavonoids, which may improve memory function, are abundant in berries. Berries can be added to yoghurt or steel-cut oats. They can also be combined with almonds and dried fruit to make a quick snack.

8) Low-fat cottage cheese

Low-fat cottage cheese has a high protein and calcium content but little calories. Studies have also shown that it aids in weight management. Cottage cheese before exercise, topped with berries or bananas, provides the ideal ratio of protein and carbohydrates to power you through your workout. It’s a fantastic post-workout snack, too. Cottage cheese with pistachios on top is a good choice if you are trying to cut carbs, advises Curries.

9) Low-fat chocolate milk

While smoothies and sports drinks are common post-workout beverages, chocolate milk can help you live more simply because it offers the right ratio of protein and carbohydrates to speed up your recovery. In order to replenish energy (glycogen) stores and repair muscle tissue after exercise, it is advisable to eat foods high in carbohydrates and protein (about 15 to 25 grams). Low-fat chocolate milk helps with rehydration by replenishing fluids and electrolytes lost during exercise.

10) Sweet potatoes

Vitamin A, a crucial ingredient associated with anti-aging benefits, cancer prevention, and eye health, is abundant in sweet potatoes. The sweet potato is a fantastic post-workout snack for weight loss because it is high in dietary fiber, low in calories, and flush with water. Try include sweet potatoes in your lunch or dinner if you exercise during the day or after work, advises Clark. “When trying to lose weight, the goal is to surround your workout with food,” she explains. Reduce your late-night munching to lose weight as you sleep.


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