Health And Wellness

Why Is Pre And Post-Workout Nutrition Important?


When it comes to workouts, we know that nutrition and fitness go hand in hand. However, things can become tricky when we talk about pre and post-workout nutrition.

Did you believe till now that pre and post-workout nutrition would include the same items? Well, not always. It will depend on various factors, which we will discuss further.

While it’s true that the body needs energy to workout, it also needs recovery after exercise. So, we need to consume our food in the right quantity and with the right vitamins and nutrients. This way, the body will be able to utilize it effectively.

If you’re still confused about your pre and post-workout nutrition and don’t understand how to balance the two, we have a guide prepared for you.

Pre-workout nutrition

It’s a common belief that exercising on an empty stomach can help burn fat faster.

But is it really true?

It depends on you. Most people can exercise on an empty stomach without an issue. Still, it’s better to eat before you exercise.

It is because eating nutritious food will give you energy. If you exercise on an empty stomach, you can experience side effects like fatigue, feeling dizzy or light-headed. Also, it might cause a shift in your blood sugar levels.

All of these conditions can have a negative impact, and that is why it’s always good to eat before you workout. By saying this, we don’t mean to eat too much as it can make exercise difficult. However, you should prefer nutritious snacks that provide actual value for exercise.

Some examples of pre-workout snacks are:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Egg whites
  • Whole grain bread
  • Smoothie
  • Banana 

Here are some more recommendations for your pre-workout nutrition. 

Include carbs

Carbs play an essential role in providing energy to the body. In fact, carbs are the first thing our muscle cells run to in order to generate energy. So, make sure your pre-workout snack includes carbs. 

When you consume carbs before exercise, you’re making sure your body has enough glucose to restore energy levels. If not, you will feel fatigue and dizziness due to the lack of energy.

Include protein

Protein shakes have become a highly preferred option for gaining muscles and providing energy during workouts. The benefits of protein shakes make them popular for all the right reasons.

Especially when you’re performing high-intensity workouts, your body needs more energy. So, it’s better to have extra energy beforehand so the body can utilize it later.

So, it’s better to include a protein snack in your pre-workout food. It can also be in the form of granola bars or protein bars. You can also try many different recipes with protein powders.

Have your snack at the right time

When it comes to having a pre-workout snack, timing is important.

If you’re exercising first thing in the morning, you can have a light snack to give you energy.

If you’re consuming a protein shake, you need to choose the right time for your protein shake.

While the right time will differ according to your body’s needs, it’s good to have your pre-workout snack 30 minutes to 3 hours before exercising. Still, you can adjust your schedule according to your needs.

Post-workout nutrition

Don’t let the fear of regaining all your calories make you step back from eating anything after a workout. As long as you’re eating healthy food with fewer calories, it’s mostly fine.

By choosing not to eat, you can also inhibit your body’s recovery process. It is because our body needs quick recovery because it has used up most of the carbs and proteins in the process. You might also end up with low blood sugar and feel fatigued.

Here are some recommendations on your post-workout nutrition.

Refuel energy with protein and carbs

While proteins and carbs are good for pre-workout snacks, you can also include them in your post-workout plan.

You can also drink your protein shake to help the body with the recovery process, especially after extreme workouts.

Some examples of post-workout snacks are:

  • Post-workout recovery smoothie or protein shake
  • Grilled chicken
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Boiled eggs
  • Yogurt and berries

These post-workout snacks can be beneficial for providing quick energy to the body to recover.

When choosing your post-workout snack, a good idea is to choose one with around 10g of protein, and double or triple the amount of carbohydrates. 

For intense workouts, you can include a higher amount of carbs in your snack.

Drink water

Sweating while exercising will make your body lose electrolytes, and that is why it’s important to stay hydrated.

You can also drink water during exercise to prevent dehydration. Also, it’s a good idea to drink water and then eat something. It’s best to drink plenty of water so that you don’t dehydrate.

Take-away message

Whether it’s pre-workout or post-workout, nutrition is necessary. With healthy eating, we don’t mean to go for fancy and expensive items. You can eat healthy on a budget while getting all the required nutrients and vitamins.

So, make sure you also understand the importance of eating and drinking before and after a workout. Depending on your body’s needs and goals, your nutritional requirements will vary.

So, monitor your body and see what suits you best!

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