Work out is associated with a great many benefits. Besides losing weight and getting a toned body, daily exercise also helps in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, you will stay active, which can improve your energy, sleep, and mood. But to achieve optimal results, you must follow the proper pre and post-workout regime.
Eat Carbohydrates – Healthy carbs should be taken before the workouts to boost energy. These are energy giving sources that help in breaking down glucose that enters the muscle cells and gives us energy. You should take this snack 30 minutes before your workout session. Some of the commonly taken carb snacks include a granola bar, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, dried fruit, crackers, a rice cake, a piece of fruit or a toast, etc.
Protein Diet – If it’s your weight training day of the week, take a little bit of protein in addition to the carbs before a workout. While exercising the tears created in your muscle fibers are healed with the help of protein. Some protein-rich sources that you must take before your meal are Greek yogurt, a hardboiled egg, a slice of turkey, and milk/soymilk. You can also sip a protein-filled smoothie 30-60 minutes before you go to the gym.
Drink lots of water – Keep yourself hydrated before and during the workout. It is a good idea to drink 2-3 cups of water before exercise and 1 cup of water before 15 minutes of working out. Your aim is to keep dehydration at bay. Drink 1 cup of water during intense cardio and physical activities, more so if you are sweating profusely.
To restore the lost glycogen during exercise, you must eat a balanced meal or snack after a workout. It will also refuel your energy levels. Take one or two carbohydrate servings, preferably of whole grains, and fruits or vegetables. Lean protein in a small amount (around 10 grams) will help in the speedy recovery of muscles. You can take raw celery, carrots, cucumbers, zucchinis, spinach, and peppers for low-calorie options that may satiate your hunger.
Ensure that you don’t overdo your post-workout snacks. It can lead you to eat or drink more calories than you have burned, which is acceptable if you want to increase weight, but not if you wish to lose. So, keep away from the energy drinks, smoothie bowls, and chocolate bars at your gym counter. It is important that you keep your pre–exercise snacks calories under 150 and post-exercise snacks calories under 500.
Last but not the least, rehydrate yourself as soon as possible after your workouts. The amount of water intake can depend on the length and intensity of your exercise, your preference, and the environmental conditions. Weigh yourself before and after your workout sessions and consider drinking 16 ounces of fluid for every lost pound.
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