Fuel your muscles with the right food!
Have you ever wondered what keeps you going during your workouts? Other than a deadly combination of willpower and stamina, our bodies need glucose from our muscles as fuel. High-intensity workouts depend on carbohydrates as their main source of energy while low-intensity workouts such as walking use fat as the main source of fuel. Read up more about the fat-burning benefits of walking here!
Cardio workouts (Running, Kick-boxing, Spinning, etc.)
As cardio workouts such as running, jump roping or kick-boxing require you to suspend yourself in the air before bouncing off the ground again, it creates an impact on your body that means that eating the wrong things could make your stomach upset.
First of all, ensure that you have given your last full meal a good 3-4 hours before a cardio session. This ensures that all your food has been digested. A well-balanced meal would include a good mix of carbohydrates and protein.
If you need a snack to eat an hour or so before your cardio workout, go for black coffee that will stimulate your body and hence allow you to go the extra mile without you even realising it. Additionally, peanut butter toast provides a good mix of protein and carbohydrates that will help you power through your workout as cardio uses the carbohydrates in our bodies as energy.
Don’t be fooled by this humble workout. Although your range of movements is restricted within a mat, there are lots of twisting, turning and inversions.
So do ensure that you have digested your last meal 3-4 hours before you hit the mat. However, be sure to avoid beans as they produce gas, leading you to feel some discomfort during the yoga poses. Have a meal with complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein which will give you lasting energy.
An hour or so before the commencement of your class, sip on some coconut water as it’s is brimming with electrolytes. These will charge your muscles with the right kind of energy! Avoid snacks high in protein and fat as they are slower to digest. Instead, snack on light fruits like bananas or watermelons. Bananas are rich in potassium that will help regulate the water-level in your body. Also, hydrate yourself with water before the class.
When you are lifting weights, your body derives its main source of energy from carbohydrates. An energizing meal 3-4 hours before your workout would be a good mix of a slow-digesting carbs like brown rice as well as some protein.
The ideal snack would be a banana, or some protein, an hour or so before you begin lifting. But, remember to avoid sugar at all costs as it will cause a quick spike in energy before leaving your energy level at an all-time low, not giving you the strength to power through your strength training routine.