Patients, athletes and clients are often asking about the best foods to eat before and after workouts. There is often significant confusion about this area. This compact article will give you a doctor’s perspective about the appropriate way to make healthy food choices. You will also gain an understanding of the importance of drinking water while before, during and after exercising. Well, let’s get started!
My recommendations for your “before exercise meal” are as follows:
#1. Eat 45-60 minutes before working out.
#2. Choose foods that are low in fiber, low in fat, moderate carbohydrates, moderate protein and minimal simple sugars. Avoid heavy, greasy foods before your workout.
#3. Here are recommendations of some grouped heathy food choices before your workout:
A. Monday…..Almond butter (2 teaspoons) with 1/2 a banana B.Tuesday…..Steel cut oats (1 bowl) with almonds and organic low fat or skim milk C. Wednesday…Peanut butter (2 teaspoons) and slices of apple D.Thursday…Low fat Greek yogurt with a cup of organic brown rice cereal or.cornflakes E. Friday….Whole grain gluten free toast (2 slices) with almond butter and 1/2 of a banana These food groupings will assure you have a better, balanced workout because you have the proper fuel to sustain your body.
#4. During the workout, be sure to hydrate with water. Simply sip water throughout the workout. Water is essential to cool our body temperature and to provide rehydration due to sweating. Water helps to optimize the function of vital organs also. Consider drinking water as part of your exercise program. I recommend 16-20 ounces of water 2 hours before any extensive training. So, drink water before, during and after your workout. Water does a body good!!
#5. Post workout foods should be higher in protein, low-moderate fat, moderate carbohydrates. I highly recommend eating within the first hour after an intense workout. Your body will be grateful for the nourishment.
#6. I recommend the following “post workout meals” which are directly from one of my personal “Eating well for life!” personal fitness modules. I recommend cooking with olive oil. ( Hemp or olive oil can be lightly added to salads. Hemp oil cannot be heated.) These meals will provide color, texture, flavor and balance to your diet.
A. Monday….Chicken and shrimp ) stir fry with veggies and brown or black rice (Can substitute chicken and shrimp with tofu.) and plain spinach salad B. Tuesday…Grilled salmon with green beans and 1/2 plain baked potato with curry C.Wednesday…Grilled ginger garlic tuna, a sweet potato, and kale salad D. Thursday…Turkey breast with curry and grilled veggies (bell pepper, mushrooms) with a green tomato and endive salad E. Friday…Tuna fish, turkey sandwich on whole grain ,gluten free toast with a spinach and a arugula salad.
#7. It is great to exercise either early in the morning or at night. I also recommend you have all workouts done 2 hours before you are going to bed though. So that your body can be properly nourished before you go to sleep.
These 7 steps are a guide to eating well and eating smart. You can do it. Good luck on your fitness and well being journey! There is no rush. Enjoy the process! Appreciate you!
Keep on exercising! Exercise is Life!
Peace and health, Dr. Levi Harrison