Workout meal plan: What to eat before and after exercise

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to exercise. Different types of exercise requires different nutrition – and the same goes for what you should eat before and after your workout.

Before starting a new workout plan, you must know what meals to eat.

The proper pre-workout meal can help you get the most out of your workout, and the right post-workout snack can help you recover faster and keep you from feeling hungry.

Here are some ideas on what to eat before and after exercise:

What to eat before exercise

Fruit

Fruits are rich in carbohydrates, a good energy source for your body. The sugars in fruit can be used as an alternative energy source to replace the glycogen used during exercise.

When you exercise, you may feel hungry and want to eat something aside from food for fitness meals. Eating fruit before your workout can fill you up, so you do not overeat later.

Here are some fruits you can eat before a workout:

Banana: Banana is high in potassium, which helps to neutralise lactic acid build-up in the muscles during exercise. It also contains carbohydrates that fuel your body for prolonged periods of physical activity.

Grapefruit: A glass of grapefruit juice before exercising helps boost metabolism by increasing body temperature and enhancing the fat-burning capabilities of the body. Grapefruit juice also contains vitamin C, preventing muscle soreness after a rigorous workout by reducing inflammation and swelling.

Melons: Melons are high in carbohydrates but low in fat and protein. Melons are ideal pre-exercise snacks because they provide quick energy without causing indigestion like other sources of carbohydrates might do.

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Wholegrains

Wholegrains are high in fibre, which makes you feel full, and provide some protection against heart disease.

Wholegrains include brown rice, oatmeal, wholewheat pasta, bread, quinoa, and amaranth. These foods are high in carbohydrates, so they provide energy for your body. They also contain B vitamins, iron, zinc and magnesium that help muscle recovery after exercise.

You should eat them one to three hours before exercising to give your body time to digest them properly.

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Nuts and seeds

Eating nuts and seeds before exercise is a great way to boost your energy and get you going.

They’re loaded with nutrients that can improve your health. Nuts and seeds are an all-natural energy source with high protein, healthy fats and fibre. They contain numerous essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium.

Nuts are also rich in antioxidants called polyphenols that may help prevent cancer and heart disease.