Every fitness expert and nutritionist agrees on the fact that diet and exercise go hand in hand. From building muscles to fueling your body, nutrients in the food you eat play a crucial role in determining the success of your workout regime. For the same reason, it’s almost impossible to reach your fitness goals without keeping a check on your eating practices. In fact, you can make your workouts more effective and maximize the results by consuming a proper diet.
However, many people still end up ignoring their diet while focusing all their concentration on the workout regime. Some may argue that finding the time to plan and prepare healthy meals is not possible, especially given the burden of responsibilities they have on their shoulders in this fast-paced world. But let’s get one thing clear: these are nothing but excuses.
You can sign up for a healthy meal delivery service such as ActivEats to have nutritious, fully-prepared food delivered to your doorsteps. Such meal delivery services take care of your diet for you so that you don’t have to worry about it. And since the diet you consume ideally depends on your lifestyle, activity level and physique, these meal delivery services also give you the flexibility of designing your meal plans accordingly.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some eating and exercise tips that can make your workouts more effective.
Munch On A Healthy Breakfast
There an old saying that tells you to eat breakfast like a king but have you ever wondered why? Well, the thing is that breakfast acts as a wakeup call for your body, kickstarting metabolism to ensure that you’re provided with a burst of energy as you start your day. Moreover, your blood sugar is quite low after you wake up which might make you feel inactive and dizzy if you jump into exercising without having a proper breakfast. Therefore, it recommended to start your day with a healthy nutritious breakfast especially if you exercise in the morning in which case, it’s suggested to have breakfast at least an hour before your workout.
According to research, consuming foods rich in carbohydrate result in better performance in the gym and even allow you to work out for longer with greater intensity. This is because carbs are broken down into glucose which continuously provides energy as you exercise. Good breakfast options before a workout include a bowl of cereal or fruits, juice or yogurt. A cup of coffee works fine too but try to focus on carbs for more energy.
Watch How Much You Eat
Eating the right amount of food is just as important as the food itself. You particularly don’t want to overeat before exercising since it can leave you feeling lethargic. On the other hand, eat too less and you will end up feeling inactive during your workout. Hence, creating a balance is necessary to optimize your performance in the gym and ensure best results. As a general rule of thumb, you should have large meals at least 3-4 hours before you exercise and small meals at least 2-3 hours before hitting the gym. Likewise, light snacking can be done an hour before your workout.
Another thing you may want to exercise is portion control to prevent yourself from overeating and packing on unnecessary calories that translate into fats within the body. Keep a check on how much you eat and you will be amazed by the results you see inside and outside the gym.
Supplement Your Workout With Snacks
Many people tend to consume light snacks before and during the workouts which are totally fine as long as they don’t make you feel sick as you exercise. One thing to remember here is that consuming something right before you exercise won’t give you an energy boost right away but it will maintain the blood sugar levels and keep you from getting hungry. If your workout lasts longer than an hour, however, you might benefit from improved energy levels as a result of light snacking which may include a protein or energy bar, fresh fruit, fruit juice or a sports drink.
Eat After Exercising
Most of the food you consume before exercising is used to power you during your training sessions which means that the body is running low on battery by the time you’re done with the workout. Therefore, eating a proper meal with an appropriate amount of proteins, carbohydrates and other nutrients within 2 hours of the workout session is quite important. This will not only provide you with energy but will also aid in muscle recovery. Good post-workout food choices include salads, sandwiches, and lean protein sources but you can munch on anything as long as it’s healthy and nourishing. And in case you don’t feel hungry enough to eat a proper meal, you can opt for protein shakes or sports drink to refuel your body with carbs.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
We cannot stress enough on the importance of staying well-hydrated. Drinking enough water flushes out toxins from your body which can help deliver fast and better results. Moreover, excessive sweating may leave you dehydrated so it’s essential to sip adequate water before, during and after the workout. According to experts, you should drink 2-3 cups of water both before and after exercising and between ½ to 1 cup after every 20 minutes while you’re at the gym. However, this can vary according to your body size, workout intensity and the surrounding temperature. You can also opt for sports drinks during the training sessions to regulate your body’s electrolytic balance.
The bottom line is that by managing your diet, you can optimize your training sessions, witness fast results and sustain them for a longer periods. We hope that these tips will help you reach your desired goals but since everyone is different, what works for others might not work for you. Hence, it’s essential that you determine what works best for you and stick to it.