by Andrea Hageman, Beaumont dietitian
Have you ever wondered if what you are eating is affecting your workout? With all the advertisements about sports bars, protein powders and protein drinks, do you wonder if it is really necessary? Or is eating a healthy well-balanced diet enough?
Just as you would fuel up your car before a road trip, your body needs the right fuel to perform at its best. What you eat before and after your workout can affect your performance whether you are a marathon runner, student athlete or someone who likes to workout at the local gym.
Here are just a few suggestions for the right foods to eat before your workout:
Pre-workout snack ideas:
- Half of a sandwich (turkey, tuna, chicken)
- Whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese
- Smoothies – such as skim milk, fruit and yogurt blended together
Post-exercise meal ideas:
- Vegetable omelet
- Chicken stir fry with vegetables and brown rice
- Oatmeal with strawberries and milk
Healthy eating for an athlete does not have to be complicated, but is about eating the right kinds of food at the right times. Making unhealthy food choices such as a high fat meal right before hitting the gym can cut your workout short by slowing you down and making you feel nauseous. On the other hand, eating a higher carbohydrate meal or snack that is moderate in protein and lower in fat before working out can improve your performance. Learn how to make the most of your workout by choosing the right foods to fuel your body and stay healthy.