Some questions that fitness freaks research widely – How to build that muscle mass effectively? How to loose weight quickly? Or how to tone our body the right way?
Regardless of our level and desires as fitness enthusiasts, a precise food list eludes us.
The fitness experts, nutritionists, yoga teachers or trainers nag us to eat right, eat well and eat healthy. With the plethora of myths, theories and concepts surrounding the word ‘healthy’, it becomes rather difficult to choke down a list of food items to eat and eliminate from our diet involving food high in protein, low on carbohydrates and consisting of minerals or vitamins.
As we work out our body depletes in terms of glycogen stores and proteins, although an hour before the workout we can eat some simple carbohydrates to keep us energized through the game. Many of us, especially those dieting down, workout hard and eat only three meals with one or two fruits in the middle. When we are working out on an empty stomach, our body goes to the protein in the muscles. The amino acid is broken down into sugar, which can be consumed quickly.
Matt Biss from BodyBuilding.com says,
“To provide fuel more quickly, amino acids are rapidly broken down and converted to sugar in a process known as gluconeogenesis. If those amino acids aren’t in the blood supply, guess where they come from? Yep, your 18-inch biceps”
The smartly timed snacks, you could use as pre-workout snacks are:
- Apple and nuts and seeds – Slice an apple or two and sprinkle some walnuts/almonds/chia seeds
- Oats and nuts– ½ a cup of steel oats with dried fruits and some nuts
- Crackers and hummus– Chickpea hummus is rich in protein and the multigrain crackers could be your shot to simple carbs
- A small sweet potato with steamed veggies– The world knows why sweet potatoes are the health snack of the world
- Cottage Cheese with Fruits– ½ a cup of cottage cheese with some berries or apples is simply heavenly
- A rich green salad– if you have the appetite then why not have a bowl with low fat dressing
- Eggs and a toast– Egg whites for the protein and a toast for the carbs, yes, yes and yes.
- Brown rice and some beans– Yet again a great option for those looking for a good meal an hour and a half before you hit the gym
Post Workout Food
Once we hit the last push up or spent five minutes in headstand to wrap it up, our muscles need to rev it up asap. An hour long HIIT workout can leave your glycogen stores depleted. The myth of not consuming carbs immediately after the workout and just sticking to protein is false because our body primarily needs fast carbs or high glycemic food to replenish the blood sugar level and muscle building is secondary.
Nora Tobin from Shape magazine emphasizes on the same,
“Research shows that your body’s ablity to refill muscle stores decreases by 50 percent if you wait to eat just two hours after your workout compared to eating right away.”
To initiate speedy recovery, torched metabolism and a lean body, you should eat:
- Salad and chickpeas- When you need more protein call in those chickpeas
- Quinoa with lentil- Super healthy, ½ a cup of quinoa with a bowl of lentil, and you are sorted
- Multigrain breads with a protein source- You could toast, two multi-grain breads with eggs/peanut butter/ veggies with avocado etc.
- Burritos with guacamole- Brown rice with beans and some guacamole, it is mouth watering, healthy treat.
- Protein Smoothie- 1 scoop of whey protein with banana/sweet potatoes, hemp seeds and some yogurt
- Green Smoothie- For those who do not fancy protein powder, some spinach, celery, almond milk, 1 tsp. Peanut butter and ice can be your final meal
- Beans with eggs- 3 to 4 egg white omelet with some beans and low fat cheese to go, salsa?
- Cereal and cottage cheese- One cup cottage cheese, honey, ½ a bowl of cereal and a pinch of our favorite cinnamon and done.
Whatever you do, never skip a healthy and hearty meal especially after the workout. It’s nothing, but torture if you skip a post workout meal. Treat your body right to get amazing and lasting reformation.