The wonderful (but often frustrating) thing about our metabolisms is that everyone’s is different. Whilst one person puts on a few pounds after a milkshake, another person may be able to eat whatever they fancy and stay in relatively good shape. Now that can anger some people, but metabolism isn’t just something that you’re given, and by no means does this mean you have to stick with it. It works in conjunction with your workout and your diet. Whether you eat before or after a workout (or both), it’s important to know that different foods are better pre-workout, where-as others can leave you feeling back to full strength, post-workout.
So which foods are the best to consume BEFORE your workout?
Smoothies have had a bit of bad press lately, with some of the more well-known companies being questioned on their drinks practicality and integrity. This is because some studies have suggested that the fruit used to make their smoothies are essentially blended to the point where all nutrients and vitamins have been neutralised and they have been accused of possessing too much sugar! But… a good, homemade, fruit and/or vegetable smoothie is good for giving you that burst of natural sugars and being relatively light; it means you’ll have energy for your workout and your stomach doesn’t feel like a washing machine on spin cycle whilst you’re on the treadmill. Nobody wants that.
Oats are not only delicious, but they’re a breakfast staple. Oats keep you going right through the morning on a normal day at work, so there’s no reason why they can’t power you through your workout! Not to mention, those dried/frozen berries or blackcurrants you can add to it will introduce some natural sugar into your blood stream, as well as adding delicious flavour.
Probably not something you’d have thought of, but Greek yoghurt is perfect for supplementing any type of cardio exercise, because it’s easy on the stomach yet filling because of how thick it is. The added bonus is that contains protein.. which will aid your recovery afterwards. Great for giving you some energy, also good for avoiding that washing machine feeling we talked about earlier!
What foods to eat AFTER a workout?
Grilled Chicken & Veg:
During your workout, you lose a lot of fluids, you use up quite a bit of your energy (if you’re working hard enough) and you feel a little depleted, therefore it is vital that you eat after a workout and replace those things you’ve used for energy. This means consuming protein to help repair muscle fibres and getting in a variety of vitamins and minerals. *Enter the grilled chicken* Chicken contains protein and light carbohydrates, and the veg (even if grilled with the chicken) will still add your need of vitamins to your post-workout meal without bloating you up with starchy carbs.
Salmon & Sweet Potato:
Sweet potatoes are delicious and contain a good level of carbohydrates, and salmon is also tasty and full of all sorts of wonderful goodies! What’s more… salmon has these small protein molecules that play a role in inflammation reduction, meaning your muscles hopefully won’t feel as tense or as painful post-workout. It’s also great for giving your skin that post-workout glow!
No… You did not read that incorrectly at all. We just said that chocolate milk can be good for you, post-workout. Especially if you’re an endurance athlete! Even though your average chocolate bar would take you 6-7 hours of straight jogging to work off the number of calories, chocolate milk is one of the latest post-workout crazes. Why? Well, because it has everything you need in one glass: including double the carbs and protein you’d get from a standard glass of milk. These two things aid muscle recovery, also the water content of the drink can help replace the fluids lost through sweating and there’s also really good amounts of calcium, sodium and sugar – all of which you need to stay healthy!
As well as the above, we have many supplements in our range that can fill your tum before or after a workout. Search within our pre-workout and post-workout ranges for products that can help you out in recovery and muscle building.