While exercising is important, eating right pre- and post-workout also requires equal attention if you want to stay fit and healthy. By Pooja Paryani
Before you head for a workout, you should eat foods that give you energy and act as a stimulant to work out. Post-workout you should consume foods that will help build muscles and energy. And remember a simple tip—carbs before a workout and protein after it. Here are some food options to help you eat and stay healthy.
Bananas are rich in pottasium and loaded with digestable carbohydrates. The fruit is one of the best natural products for instant energy and potassium supply. Have a banana 30 min before you hit the gym. You can supplement it with one cup of low-fat milk. This combination ensures you have the required amount of carbs, energy, potassium and calcium that will aid in the healthy development of bones.
Old fashioned or rolled oats are a great option when it comes to carbs and fibre, which are a great a great combination before a workout. As oats are slowly digested, your stomach feels full for longer. Oats also contain beta-glucan, which gives fibre its cholesterol lowering properties. Since oats don’t have their own flavour you can have them in milk with a few fruits or make a savoury dish with lots of veggies.
Whole wheat or multi grain bread
When it comes to a getting your quota of carbohydrates and fibre you can always rely on whole wheat or multi grain breads. They’re a meal in themselves and often come with seeds that provide protien and other healthy nutrients. Make a sandwich with some salad in between the slices, or have it toasted. Best to have bread 30 to 40 minutes before a workout as it will give you energy while keeping you full for a longer time.
Yoghurt + Fruits
Yoghurt is a full meal in itself; it has carbohydrates, pectin, calcium, and very little fat. The calcium in the yogurt plays a vital role in muscle contraction while the other nutrients keep your heart healthy and regulates youor metabolism. Combine yogurt with fruits for a guilt-free dessert. Add fruits like blueberries, strawberries, banana or apple to add an extra kick. Sprinkle a few crushed almonds to up the healthy quotient. Best to have it 50 to 60 minutes before a workout.
Since it’s rich in protein, people tend to have chicken after a workout. But it’s a good pre-workout food as well as it also has carbohydrates. If you’re exercising for a long time, have a chicken breast with spinach or other healthy veggies for a low-fat dish with lots of fibre. This helps prevent muscle fatigue and replenishes energy lost during the workout. Have chicken one to two hours before a workout for better results.
Rich in protein, eggs help the body repair muscles worn out during exercising. Have them boiled, scrambled or in an omelette, all are good options. Add some veggies for some more energy. Try to have eggs about 15 to 20 minutes after a workout, so that you’re body has had some time to recover.
A great non-vegetarian source of protein, chicken is a popular post-workout food. It aids in muscle repair after a workout, and the best part is there are innumerable ways to make chicken so you never get bored. But remember to opt for grilled or boiled options, as fried or buttery chicken will only add to your health woes. Best had one hour after a workout.
Feta or cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is rich is glutamine, protein, calcium and other vitamins, which are very helpful for recovery after a workout. Or opt for feta cheese with veggies for a quick and healthy meal. Best had 30 minutes after a workout.
Rajma (kidney beans)
A rich source of protein, rajma will give you quick energy after a workout. Rajma is said have very little fat with lots of protein and other nutrients that are essential for a healthy body. You can add it to salads, or cook and have with rotis. Best had 30 minutes after a workout.
Walnuts and apples
Exercising keeps your body healthy but it’s also a stressful activity. That’s why a handful of walnuts immediately after a workout are a great idea. Walnuts are rich in nutrients that help reduce stress, and omega 3 fatty acids, which help lower bad cholesterol. They are also rich in amino acids, which promote heart health. Carry some walnuts in your gym bag along with an apple to give yourself a boost of glucose and carbs right after a workout.