Nothing makes me hungrier than a gruelling session at the Gym. Before you begin your workout, your body requires some form of sustenance to power you through without feeling heavy, and once you’re done, your body might tell you to eat the first thing you see. But the choice you make of what exactly you eat at these times can make or break your results. It is important to keep your energy up during a workout but it is equally important that you choose your gym snacks wisely, or else all that hard work doing cardio or lifting weights will definitely go to waste. Here’s a simple breakdown:
Carbohydrates before workouts: Something important to remember about healthy snacking to fuel your workouts is that Carbohydrates are important. I’m not talking about poor carbs like cookies and cake, but good carbs boost energy. If you are otherwise fit and are not watching your carb intake, they are essential for you. If your body does not get enough carbs, you cannot sustain strenuous workouts. Additionally, your body might start breaking down that hard gained muscle and tissue for fuel. Snack on simple natural carbs. They aren’t heavy on your digestion so they won’t slow you down.
Proteins after workouts: Once you have gotten in your daily grind, you need to top off your body’s dwindling energy stores. This is best achieved with protein as proteins work to repair and rebuild your muscles. Proteins are especially important if you have been working with weights or have been doing some high intensity interval training or HIIT. For other great advice about protein intake and your workouts, visit fitwirr for more pertinent info.
Best Snack options for workouts
Our friends at fitwirr recommend that pre and post gym snacks should be within the 150 to 200 calorie range category. Some things to keep in mind though
- Snacking is not mandatory before and after every workout. If you’ve eaten properly within the last two hours, or plan to go home and have a proper dinner, you are good to go and don’t need to snack.
- However, you also shouldn’t work out on a completely empty stomach as you won’t have the energy to slay your workout.
- Remember to eat your pre workout snack at least 30 minutes before you begin the exercise.
- Consume your post workout snack within 30 minutes after you finish the exercise.
Here are the best snack options for various exercise types
Cardio Workouts (like running, dancing, cycling, kickboxing, aerobics etc.)
Pre Exercise: A piece of fruit like apple or pear drizzled with a teaspoon of honey
Post Exercise: small cup of low-fat chocolate milk and a small banana
HIIT Workouts (like circuit training or interval workouts etc.)
Pre Exercise: A slice of wholegrain toast with 1.5 teaspoon berry preserve
Post Exercise: 2 tablespoons avocado, 1 crisp-bread, 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese
Toning Workouts (like power flow yoga, barre, pilates etc.)
Pre Exercise: A piece of citrus fruit like orange with a handful of nuts like pistachios
Post Exercise: small serving of hummus and 1 medium carrot
Weight Training Workouts (like crossfit, kettlebells, circuits etc.)
Pre Exercise: 1 cup boiled edamame without shell
Post Exercise: small cup of low-fat plain yogurt and a quarter cup of berries