Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are often on the lookout to improve their exercise performance and get better gains. Like we always say, fitness is not just about working out, it is a lifestyle choice that you make. Whether you want to lose weight or gain weight, dedication and perseverance are two qualities that’ll help you accomplish your fitness goals.
Proper nutrition can work like magic for your body, especially when you train hard and sweat it out in the gym. It is really important to have the right kind of foods before and after your workout sessions to get best results. So today we discuss in detail about what should you eat before and after workouts.
Timing of pre-workout meal is important
Timing of pre workout meal plays a really important role. You should try and eat a complete meal with carbohydrates, protein, and fat 2-3 hours before your workout session. On some days when you cannot follow this rule, just remember that the sooner you eat before your workout, the simpler the meal has to be. If you eat 45 – 60 minutes, eat foods that are easy to digest.
It is a recommended that a combination of protein and carbohydrates works best for pre workout meals. If you want to include fats, make sure it is done at least 2 hours before your exercise.
Foods to eat pre workout
2 – 3 hours before workout
- Whole grain sandwich with a side of salad
- Bowl of brown rice with roasted or grilled vegetables
- Whole grain bread and omelet
- Whole grain cereal/ museli with milk
- Whole grain bread with nut butter and sunflower/pumpkin seeds
- A cup of oatmeal topped with fruits
1 hour or less before workout
- Nutrition bar
- Greek yogurt topped with fruit
- A fruit – banana, apple etc
You can also include some high quality GNC pre workout supplements enriched with nutrients like caffeine, creatine, and BCAAs to get explosive workouts and best results.
Some of the best GNC pre workout supplements are –
- GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate
- GNC Pro Performance AMP Gold Series Ultra Rush
- GNC AMP Gold Series BCAA Advanced with vitamin B6
- GNC Beyond Raw Precision BCAA
- GNC Beyond Raw LIT
Post Workout Recovery
When you work out the body muscles use up the glycogen and post workout it becomes crucial to replace those glycogen levels. Post workout nutrition is really important and it should have the right balance of essential nutrients to help you build muscles and prevent muscle damage. Including a balanced ratio of protein and carbohydrates in your post workout meal will support recovery, restore glycogen levels, reduce post workout fatigue and muscle soreness, increase muscle protein synthesis, and decrease post workout muscle breakdown.
Protein will help repair and build muscles and it is recommended that you include a premium quality protein supplement in your post workout routine. Have it within 30 minutes after your exercise for best results. Some of the bestselling GNC whey protein supplements that you can definitely check out are –
- GNC Pro Performance 100% whey protein
- GNC AMP Wheybolic
- GNC AMP Gold Series 100% whey protein advanced
- GNC AMP Pure Isolate
- GNC PMD amplify XL
Carbohydrates help with recovery. Consuming 0.5–0.7 grams of carbohydrates per 1.1 – 1.5 g of body weight within 30 minutes after exercise will result in proper glycogen synthesis. Insulin secretion, which promotes glycogen synthesis is better stimulated when proteins and carbs are consumed at the same time. That’s why you should always buy a protein powder with the goodness of carbohydrates for best results. Try consuming the two in a ratio of 3 to 1 (carbs to protein).
Foods to eat after workout
The following are foods that can be easily digested and will provide energy and nutrition for post workout recovery.
- Quinoa and other grains with veggies
- Sweet potatoes – roasted or grilled
- Rice cakes
- Oatmeal with fruits
- Pita and hummus
- Whole grain bread sandwich
- GNC protein powder shake
- Protein bar
- Fish (salmon, tuna) with whole grain bread or in salad form
- Greek yogurt with granola and berries
- Cottage cheese and fruits
- Chicken (grilled or roasted with veggies)
- Avocado (have it with rice cake, spread guacamole on whole grain bread, or add it to salad)
- Nuts and seeds
- Nut butter (spread over oatmeal, whole grain bread, or rice cakes)
- Trail mix
Do not forget to drink plenty of water before and after your workout to keep yourself hydrated. You can also have an electrolyte drink after workout as you lose electrolytes during sweating in intense workouts.
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