There is a fair amount of noise in the world of sports nutrition. As companies compete with one another to sell the best pre-workout, during exercise, and post-workout recovery products, the simple nutrition behind what foods to eat can get lost in the mix. Thankfully, exercise nutrition doesn’t have to be overly complicated.
Reduced to its simplest form, pre-exercise foods should provide the energy we need to get the most from our workout without leaving us feeling full and uncomfortable. Similarly, post-workout meals should have the necessary nutritive elements to aid the body in recovering and repairing muscles.
The Best Pre-Workout Foods
Before working out, give the body something to draw upon for energy. Generally speaking, a combination of fast-burning and slow-burning fuel, which means, a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates that are easily digestible is ideal.
The simple carbohydrates are there to give the body a burst of energy, while the complex carbohydrates will provide it with continued, steady energy throughout an exercise program.
A meal comprised of whole grain toast with a little nut butter or avocado, and fresh fruit is a great example of a good pre-workout meal. Unsweetened yogurt and fruit-sweetened granola is another good example.
Great Recovery Meals for After Your Workout
The body needs a different type of food when it’s finished exerting itself, as it requires the muscle building power of lean protein to aid in recovery and repair.
The body also needs energy replacement, but reaching for simple carbohydrates at this point is not only challenging for your blood sugar maintenance, but also counterproductive to working out in the first place.
A great example of a solid post-workout meal is grilled skinless white meat chicken, paired with roasted vegetables. This combination of complex carbohydrates and lean protein will put the body on the road to recovery faster than just about anything else; and as an added bonus, its real food.
When looking for a little extra from post-workout nutrition than just basic recovery, consider reaching for a couple of supplements to rotate into the mix.
A good antioxidant like astaxanthin to help deal with the free radicals and bodily toxins generated by your body during the workout can be a great help. Also, for more of a protein kick post-workout, supplement with a whey-based protein powder or the protein containing superfood spirulina supplement.
That way, the body is getting everything it needs to recover and prepare for its next workout. However, keep in mind that supplements are no substitution for good nutrition. The real whole foods that we eat impact our ability to get results from workouts and to recover from them – regardless of what fitness goals are.
Supplements can help. But without a solid foundation of good nutrition, all the supplements in the world won’t get maximum results from the effort being put in.
To learn more about health and fitness, check back with Nutrex Hawaii.