No matter what your health and fitness goals are, if you're working out it's critical to eat before and after your sweat session. This means that even if your goal is to tighten up and lose those love-handles or train for that next half-marathon, without the proper nutrition you won’t be getting the most out of your workout. In fact, if you’re hungry it's likely that you can cause muscle loss because the only protein your body has to work with comes from your muscles.
It’s hard enough working up a sweat. Don’t make fueling up before and after any harder than it needs to be. Here's a guide to what you should be eating to kill your next Crossfit class.
The American College of Sports Medicine says that you should be eating something primarily made up of carbohydrates with protein and fat in low moderation. To prevent stomach discomfort during your workout, you should minimize the amount of fiber you consume before. This can look like oatmeal with healthy toppings (fruits and nuts), apples and almond butter or whole-grain pitas with hummus.
It’s not only important to eat after you work out, but it’s also critical to try and eat as soon as possible after sweating. Refueling afterward will help you replenish fluids and electrolytes while also repairing and developing muscles. Waiting just two hours means your body loses its ability to refill muscle stores compared to eating immediately after your workout.
The food you eat should contain carbs and protein. This can look like a protein shake or bar, chocolate milk, a salad with meat or chickpeas, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an egg burrito or a banana with nuts.
Most importantly, never forgot to hydrate before, after and during your workout. You always want to be well-hydrated AND well-fueled. And if you can’t find the perfect post-workout meal, don’t sweat it. What’s important is that you get something into your system. We can’t all have a personal chef at the ready.