A regular workout program is only as good as the effort put into it. While the actual exercise is important, the nutrition surrounding the act plays a huge part. Whether your routine is a 10-minute surge of stretches and specific body toning, or an hour-long intense combination of jogging and muscle building, the body is using oxygen from your blood supply. By replenishing the nutrients that exercise uses from blood cells, the natural balance can help one stay rejuvenated.
Some people think that eating before a workout can create a sluggish feeling, thus decreasing their performance. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the recommended amount of protein is only 10-20 grams before a workout, this is just enough to bring a burst of energy to enhance exercise. Types of protein for pre-exercise include:
-- Toast or Cereal
-- Whey Protein Shake
-- Apple or Banana
What is the significance of these particular foods that outweigh advertised products, such as sugary protein bars or donuts? Your body is looking for protein and carbs to replace the oxygen in your blood during strenuous activity. Foods that contain sugar and additives can actually slow the breakdown of these two important ingredients and make you feel tired and less energetic. It is hard enough to stay motivated without feeling tired.
Water does not contain vitamins, minerals, nutrients, or any type of energy source. But on the flip side, it doesn't have any sugar, chemicals, or salt that can interfere with exercising a body. What water does have is the ability to keep your blood cells and muscles hydrated. Keeping the body fluid before, during, and after an exercise program will cool down an overheated system that tends to dehydrate quickly through physical activity. Prepare for a workout by drinking 2 cups of water before beginning the warmups. This will guarantee that there is no chance of raising the body temperature into dangerous levels. The body does not tell you when to drink so plan on being proactive.
Strenuous exercise or working out for more than 45 minutes, merits a rejuvenation of protein and carbs. By this time, your system is also probably screaming for liquids. Use this opportunity to mix a tall glass of water with 100% juice. The juice will add potassium and carbohydrates to your system, in addition to hydrating. With aching muscles, a rebuilding process should occur with high protein foods. Some of these include:
-- Baked Potato
-- Peanut Butter
Stay away from saturated fats that can bring on a crash. You may be tired immediately following a workout, but the energy will be forthcoming when only pure protein and carbs are eaten. Also, if you are involved in vigorous exercise, keep a bowl of raisins, a sliced banana, or an energy close by. Take a break after 20-30 minutes and consume 50-100 calories to stay on top of the game.
Never think of eating before and after workouts as a negative prospect. Drinking only water, without the benefit of healthy foods can deplete your body in a hurry. Follow these suggestions and see if there isn't a significant difference felt in exercise, and after.