Exercising regularly can give the much-needed impetus to a weight loss program and help in bringing the desired results quickly. While the body braves those intense workout routines at the gym, it is all the more important to feed it the right kind of food. Your diet before, during and after workout should be carefully curated to help your body recover from the harsh exercise regime and prepare it to face it again. Probably, we all know this. However, what we may not know is what should we really eat? A recent study has come to relieve us from this confusion. It suggests eating quality carbohydrates as pre-workout food and lean proteins as post-workout food.
The review paper that was published in the ‘Journal of Nutrition’, was carried out by researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia. The study points out that carbohydrate ingestion can improve endurance exercise performance.
For the study, the researchers analysed 50 randomised studies on carbohydrate ingestion and endurance exercise. The team discovered that consuming carbohydrates can boost endurance exercise performance in adults.
Nancy Cohen, a professor specialising in nutrition divulged, “By eating carbohydrate-rich foods that are low in fat and low or moderate in protein, you can make sure you have enough muscle glycogen as fuel for your physical activity. This might include low-fat granola bars, fig bars, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, banana, yogurt, pasta or other high-carbohydrate foods.” If you work out in the morning, try eggs, cereal and milk toast with peanut butter, or fruit and yogurt. In general, you can consume 5 to 10 millilitres of water per kilogram of body weight in the two to four hours before a workout.”
Staying hydrated and energised during exercise is equally important. “Depending on the sport and the comfort of the individual, a range of foods or beverages could be useful here,” Cohen added. Juices, sports drink, granola bars, fruit, other high-carbohydrate foods and drinks may prove beneficial if consumed while exercising.
And, after getting done with your exercise, it is best to eat lean proteins, such as dairy products, eggs and poultry. Cohen explained, “After long or very high-intensity workout, consuming 1 to 1.2 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per hour for four to six hours, along with 15 to 25 grams of protein within the first hour after exercise, will replenish muscle glycogen stores as well as support muscle protein synthesis.”
“After lighter workout, eat a well-balanced meal, including high-quality protein and carbohydrates within two to three hours after finishing, and drink enough fluids to replace losses,” Cohen added.
Till now it was believed that you should not exercise on an empty stomach. The experts say that while it may help in burning fat fast, it cannot yield permanent results in the long-term. So, make the necessary changes in your diet plan and make it better suited for your own fitness regime.