What you eat before and after a workout is as important as the regimen itself…
An effective workout depends on many factors – the most important one being your diet. What you eat before a workout prepares your body for the stress and the meal after that is responsible for muscle building and body repair. Here’s what you must keep in mind so as to tailor your meals and maximise your workout.
Get the carbs
Give your body a dose of carbohydrates one hour before you hit the gym. Eat a fruit (apple would be ideal). You may also have toast, cornflakes or idlis. You could also just eat a banana for the complex carbohydrates it provides. These foods need comparatively little time to digest, are easy on the body and provide you with maximum energy during the workout. Also, ensure that you drink a glass of water before the workout, so that your body is well hydrated.
Never go hungry
Do not hit the gym on an empty stomach. The stress that exercise has on the body, combined with the lack of sugar (energy) will lead to hypoglycemia, a condition that will make you prone to fatigue.
After a heavy meal
For a diabetic, it is very important to workout soon after a heavy meal. However, normal individuals must maintain a gap of two to three hours between a heavy meal and the workout. The logic is to allow the sugar level in the body to reach an optimum level.
Use the window
During a workout, the level of cortisol (also known as the destructive hormone) in the body increases, thereby making it prone to infections. That’s precisely why the hour just after a workout is known as the ‘window period’, as it allows for infections to enter the body. Use this opportunity and eat as soon as possible.
Get a drink
The body loses salt due to sweating. That is why it’s very important to compensate via a rich source of electrolyte such as ORT.
Have proteins, but…
Do not rely completely on proteins for your supply of energy, as they are far more difficult to digest and take a toll on your kidneys. To aid digestion, make sure you include lots of greens in your meal, as they are rich in fibre.
The body needs a high-protein diet for muscle building. However, relying on supplements is not the answer. The best option for a post workout DIY supplement is to take the watery part of curd (that is very rich in proteins), chop a banana and apple into it and put it in the blender. It’s a perfect combination of proteins and carbohydrates. Not to forget, the apple is rich in fibre.