For avid gym-goers and many athletes, most of their days consist of long training hours. That’s why highly-active individuals often face the dilemma of when to exercise after you eat. For some, doing it too soon may lower their energy levels. If you eat too late, you might notice that you feel bloated and nauseous.
Fueling before working out is important to achieve your best performance. This is the reason you need to be aware of your meal timings in between your activities. Wondering when you should chow down before going to the gym? Here’s all you need to know about proper nutrient timing!
Knowing What To Eat
Carbohydrates play an active role in supplying you with the energy your muscles need. This is why it needs to be present in your meals and mid-day snacks so you’re assured of being fueled throughout the day.
For quick carbohydrate source, choose a serving of fruits and vegetables, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, barley, and other starchy foods like corn, peas, or potatoes. Your carb requirement will be dependent on how long you plan to exercise.
For Shorter and Low-Intensity Exercises
About 30–60 minutes before activity, eat a high-carbohydrate snack that provides 200–300 calories to fuel your body for exercise. However, choose foods with a relatively low fat and fibre content so it’s easier to digest. For example, mix in your yoghurt with low-fat granola, drink up a smoothie with low-fat Greek yoghurt or milk, or have a bite of apples and pears with 1 tbsp of peanut or almond butter.
For Longer and High-Intensity Exercise
For workouts longer than 60 minutes or those that are really intense, fuel up more with some extra carbs. Eat a meal with 200–300 grams of carbohydrates and 1–2 servings of protein 3–4 hours before your workout to maintain your performance for the duration. Eating 3–4 hours prior to exercise also allows enough time to digest your meal. Be cautious of high-fat or high-fibre foods as they can leave you with an upset stomach. Listen to your body and adjust your meals according to your personal preference and needs.
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