Fuel Your Workouts with the Right Foods

WorkoutYou can get better results by eating the right foods before and after your workout.

Hitting the gym is not a guarantee that you will achieve your ideal weight, even after sweating it out for a few weeks or even a few months. To increase your chances of shedding off those extra pounds, don?t focus all your energy on burning off calories. Instead, you need to make a more conscious effort in choosing the right kinds of foods that can help you lose weight.

Experts agree that you need to feed your body with the right nutrients before and after your workout to get the kind of results that you need. Here are some healthy snack suggestions that go perfectly with different kinds of workouts.

Yoga and Stretching Exercises
Yoga may not be physically strenuous but you need to fuel your body with the right nutrients if you want to get great results. For a morning yoga class, consider whole grain cereals or yogurt with fresh berries. Don?t eat foods that are hard to digest since they would only weigh you down. After your workout, consider eating a simple but healthy snack such as an egg white burrito to help build and repair your muscles.

Cardio Sessions
People who do cardio workouts early in the morning should eat carbo-loaded snacks at least 20 minutes before working out. Consider adding a good protein source such as yogurt, a slice of cheese, an egg, or a small piece of meat if you plan on working out for more than 40 minutes to help you sustain your energy. A piece of apple, banana or orange, or some carrot sticks can also be a good pre-workout snack. However, avoid eating fatty and high fibre foods since they can upset your digestive system.

You also need to eat the right kinds of foods within 30 minutes after doing your cardio workouts to improve your recovery, prevent fatigue and stabilize your blood sugar level. Carbohydrate sources with high glycemic index such as English muffins and bagels may not be the healthiest choice but they can restore the energy in your muscles in the least amount of time. You can also snack on whole grain bread topped with honey or a piece of fresh fruit and add a moderate amount of protein to facilitate muscle repair.

Strength Training
Carbohydrate-rich snacks are also perfect for strength training workouts since these foods can give you the energy to power those lifts. For best results, aim for at least 2.7 to 4.5 grams of carbohydrate and 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. You should also get 20 to 35% of your energy from healthy fat sources, and drink 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight to keep you properly hydrated during your workout. Try plain or low-fat yogurt topped with granola for your pre-workout snack and tart cherry juice smoothie with ginger and whey protein for your post-workout snack.

Different workouts demand different nutrients so you need to know what your body needs to get the results you have been dreaming of all along.