Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You Asked and I Answered!

Today I’m answering one of the most common questions I’ve received over the years: "What should I eat before and after a workout to optimize performance and enhance muscle growth and recovery?"

Before a Workout

6 Pre- and Post-Workout Meal Options!Think about this: when you are working out you want enough energy to last your whole workout. No one wants to tire out before they’ve pushed their muscles to the max, so you need a meal that will keep you energized. A meal containingcomplex carbohydrates is exactly what you need for your workout because they release energy at a steady rate. Some good pre-workout complex carb choices include bananas, melon and sweet potatoes.

I avoid heavy grains such as brown rice or pasta within an hour of working out because I feel so full after I eat them.

Pre-Workout Meal Options
  • Banana and a glass of almond milk
  • Apple with a handful of nuts
  • Nonfat plain yogurt with berries
After a Workout

Your post-workout meal should be eaten within an hour of ending your workout to replenish your glycogen and potassium stores and feed your body the protein it needs to repair muscle tissue. Ideally, you want to choose lean proteins and carbohydrates that are metabolized easily, so your body can quickly deliver nutrients where they have to go. Chicken, fish, eggs and whey are all good post-workout protein sources, and bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and raisins are rich in both potassium and glycogen.

Post-Workout Meal Options
  • Grilled chicken breast with sweet potato
  • Egg whites with tomato and steamed spinach
  • Protein shake with fresh fruit
Finally, don’t forget to rehydrate! An essential part of your pre- and post-workout meals is water. The AARP recommends that you drink about one cup of water for each 15 minutes of exercise you perform.

Do you have any great pre- and post workout meals? Post it on The Kitchen Table in the Recipes section!

Have a Great Week!

Tosca Reno

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*For more information on macronutrients and getting started with exercise, get The Eat-Clean Diet® Recharged!

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