Food is fuel and one of the most important things to help us reach our fitness goals. Therefore making surer you are fueling your body with the right things and at the right time is important with your development and performance.
Before you go out and exercise or play a game of sport, you’ll need to make sure you have sufficient energy levels. This is the best time for you to eat carbohydrates. Particularly, if you are going to be engaging in high-intensity activity. Carbohydrates are what your body will break down first when you are exercising.
You should also consider adding a little bit of protein into your food choice before you exercise to help with building muscle.
What about the size of the meal? The size is very dependant on how you feel when you eat before you exercise. Most people find that a small snack is best. Having a large meal in your belly can sometimes make people feel sick. When picking your snack it’s also best to think about what is best for you. For example, some people love eating a banana but I find bananas make me feel sick while I move.
Here are some snack ideas:
- Vegemite on toast
- Muesli Bar
Similar to after a workout, it’s important to get your carbohydrates and protein in. This will help to repair all of the muscle cells that have been depleted during exercise.
As we've mentioned, you burn through carbohydrates when you exercise. This is why it's important to replace them! The best carbs to be eating? Nutrient-dense carbs or 'good carbs'. This includes whole grains (wholemeal bread, brown rice) lots of fruits, veggies and legumes.
As for protein? Chicken, beef, eggs, tofu, fish, lamb...the list goes on!
It's important to try and eat within two hours of exercise to get the most out of your workout and refuel those muscles as they are rebuilding. This will help to build muscle and keep your energy and nutrient levels up.
One last thing that is super important, remember to hydrate! When you exercise and sweat you lose a lot of hydration. It's important to replace the water you lost during exercise and then some. Especially in the hot Australian summer!