Nutrition is as every big of a part of health as fitness is, specifically what you should be eating before and after your workouts. At NordicTrackCoupons.com we want you to be able to get the most from your workouts with proper nutrition. Nicole over at MyNutritionPeople.com has some great tips to help “Maximize Your Workout with Better Nutrition”.
Maximize Your Workout with Better Nutrition
Maximize your treadmill workout with proper nutrition before and after your exercise. Eating the right quantity of the right food at the right times can increase your energy, help build muscle and improve your workout performance. All three of these factors are equally important to improving the effectiveness of our workout.
The Right Quantity
Eating too much before your workout can lead to cramps and other symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, but eating too little can rob your body of the nutrients it needs to be effective during the workout. Be mindful of serving sizes as you prepare your meals prior to a workout – and always.
There are some key differences between workout nutrition and regular nutrition. Meals and snacks that precede a workout should have five distinctive qualities: they should be made of familiar, well tolerated foods that are low in fat, low in fiber, and contain a moderate amount of carbohydrates and proteins.
Don’t try anything new before working out. New foods introduce the potential for food allergies and sensitivities that could have serious side effects that could destroy your workout plans—and worse.
Choose foods that you are familiar with and know that you tolerate well. Avoid any foods that cause side effects, no matter how slight they may be.
Low in Fat
Fat is not an efficient energy source. It is more difficult to digest and takes longer to turn into energy than carbohydrates or proteins do. Eating high-fat foods before a workout will leave you feeling sluggish and bloated – exactly how you don’t want to feel during your workout.
Low in Fiber
Fiber is difficult to digest and can cause intense gas and bloating during a workout. Although a veggie salad or other high-fiber food may seem like a good pre-run snack, its best saved for after the run.
Easily digestible carbohydrates provide a quick and efficient energy boost for your workout. Carbs are the body’s primary energy source and give your body the fuel it needs to perform well during the workout.
Whole grains, however, can be difficult to digest and can cause gastrointestinal discomfort such as cramping and gas pains during exercising. Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and white rice, do not cause the same discomfort because the whole grains are already partially broken down. If you experience discomfort while exercising, you may want to opt for refined carbohydrates for your pre-exercise snack or meal.
Protein is used to build muscle and maintain healthy blood cells that carry needed oxygen and nutrients to working muscles. Protein also provides an energy source, although the body does not use it as quickly as carbs. In fact, eating protein without carbs can actually deplete your energy levels. Experts recommend consuming a 3:1 or 4:1 carb to protein ratio before you workout.
The Right Time
Eating the right amount of the right kind of food isn’t enough. Consuming your meals or snacks too close to your workout can cause indigestion. Wait too long, though, and you won’t realize any of the benefits that the food provides.
Give yourself 30 minutes between a snack and a workout. To prevent severe stomach upset, you should delay about two hours for small meals and about three hours for large meals. This allows your food to digest before stepping on the treadmill.
Be sure to eat within 30 minutes of the workout! Consuming a small amount of protein and carbs after a workout helps your body replenish its glycogen stores and build muscle. It also counters the effects of the stress hormone cortisol that is released during exercise. Cortisol hinders your body’s ability to repair muscle and it slows your metabolism, causing you to retain more calories.
A quick after-exercise protein pick-me-up could be a hard-boiled egg, a cup of yogurt or a slice of cheese.
Eating the right amount of the right food at the right time can make a dramatic, positive difference in your treadmill workout experience. By boosting your energy and running at optimal performance, your workouts will be more effective and help you achieve your fitness goals faster.
Visit MyNutritionPeople.com for more nutrition and wellness tips!
WebMD: What to Eat Before, During and After Exercise
USNews Health: Works Workout Foods – What Not to Eat Before a Workout
Salt Lake Tribune: Do One Thing – Eat Protein After Exercise
Mayo Clinic: Eating & Exercise – 5 Tips to Maximize Your Workouts
Fitness Magazine: Fuel Your Run – Nutrition for Training and Racing
About.com: Best & Worst Pre-Run foods
About.com: 5 Common Sports Nutrition Mistakes and How to Solve Them