Almost everyone understands the importance of eating healthily when working out, especially if you want to see results. However, most people do not know whether it is better to eat before or after a workout.
If you want to know the answer, you’ve come to the right place. This article will not only explain whether you should eat before or after your workout, it will also give you some recipe tips for delicious smoothies that will support your training and recovery.
Should you eat before working out?
The short answer is yes, you should. Your body needs energy so that it can power through your workout. Eating a healthy, well balanced meal before exercising will help your body to generate that energy, so you can get your maximum possible output every time.
It’s best to work out around three hours after you eat a main meal, in order to give your body time to absorb all the nutrients it needs.
What should you eat before working out?
To get the best results, you should try and eat a meal that is low in fat, and rich in proteins and carbohydrates.
This is because the digestion of fatty foods requires a lot of energy, which leaves your body with less energy for the workout itself. In contrast, proteins and carbohydrates are converted into energy, which gives you the strength you need to exercise. Carbohydrates are especially important, as they are converted into glycogen, one of the main sources of energy used by your muscles.
Of course, you are not limited to only working out three hours after one of your main meals. You can plan your workout for anytime of the day, and then have a small snack to refuel before training. Try something starchy like wholegrain crackers or a delicious banana pre-workout smoothie up to 30 minutes before you exercise.
Recipe for a high-protein pre-workout smoothie
A pre-workout smoothie is the perfect way to consume protein, which gives you the power you need for your workouts. Our fruity recipe suggestion is quick and easy to prepare with a blender such as the Philips Avance ProBlend. On top of all that, it tastes delicious.
For the banana smoothie you need:
250 g of Greek yoghurt
50 g of oatmeal
600 ml sparkling mineral water
Stir the yoghurt and oatmeal together and add your banana (after peeling and slicing it). Then mix the smoothie in your blender, slowly adding mineral water as needed.
If you want to make the smoothie more colourful, you can add more fruit.
Eating after sports is extremely important to replenish your glycogen stores with lost carbohydrates. Easily digestible foods such as white bread, rice or bright pasta are perfect post-workout foods. You might also want to consume some protein after exercise, to aid muscle recovery.
Smoothies are a great post-workout food because they contain both of these food groups. This chocolate smoothie is specially formulated to refuel your body with all the essential nutrients you need after your workout.
240ml low-fat milk
2 pitted dates
1 small (about 135g) sweet potato (baked and cubed)*
80g of kale
1tbsp cocoa powder
2 scoops of chocolate protein powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
Put all the ingredients in a blender such as a Philips Avance Collection Blender. Purée everything until your smoothie is smooth and creamy.
*To bake the sweet potato, preheat the oven to 200°C and roast for 30-40 minutes.
What is the best time to eat after a workout?
Try and eat within the first two hours after your workout. During this time, the glycogen lost during training can be best absorbed by your muscles.
It is important that you try and eat before and after a workout. You can decide individually what you would like to eat, but it’s a good idea to stick to foods you know your body can tolerate. It is also important to drink lots of water in order to replace fluids that have been lost through sweating.