We all know that nutrition plays a large role in our lives, and that if affects everything from our general health, to how quickly we can reach our fitness goals.
But how do we figure out the right kind of meal plan for us specifically?
By casting spells?
Making a deal with the Devil?
Summoning a magical diet book from the void?
It just seems so overly complex at times, but hold on before you sacrifice that unicorn. There’s actually a better way!
Want to tailor your daily nutrition so it suits all your needs? Here are some awesome tips, all based on particular type of workouts. You’re bound to love them.
Yoga and Pilates
Pre-workout: Low-impact exercises that are focused on endurance and flexibility really benefit from light, fruit-based snacks. Greek yogurt mixed in with berries and 4 ounces of unsweetened almond milk and made into a smoothie that will deliver just the right amount of protein and carbohydrates to keep you away from crashing in the middle of the workout.
Post-workout: You’ll want something with potassium that will also help you rehydrate, so a banana and a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice can be an excellent snack. Boiled eggs with some cucumbers and tomatoes are also a good idea, as the protein in eggs helps muscle reparation.
Pre-workout: Strength training, especially if you’re body-building, is a serious deal. The thing you need to realise is that practically all types of exercising require some amount carbohydrates and protein, and what’s different is the amount you’ll need. For strength training, pre workout supplements are an excellent idea, and if you pair them with a healthy granola bar, or a light meal of chicken on brown rice, you’ll be doing more reps than you thought you could.
Post-workout: The thing you want to prevent here is muscle breakdown, which can happen when your body’s glycogen levels become low after a workout. You should eat right after you’re done with exercising, but never go for big meals. A protein shake is a perfect option, and make sure to drink a lot of water to rehydrate.
Pre-workout: Cycling, running, the elliptical, swimming, whatever your preferred type of cardio is, you’ll want to build up endurance to make sure you can get through the entire thing without pause. A small piece of meat and a slice of cheese can give you the energy you need, or if you want something a little lighter, a bowl of oatmeal with some berries thrown in works very well.
Post-workout: Chocolate milk and a few pretzels to replenish that sodium that you lost through sweat can give you all the nutrition you need. A peanut butter toast is good after light cardio, but if you’ve been at it for a while, turkey and veggie wraps are a great idea.
Pre-workout: High-intensity interval training is all about fast, intense bursts of action that are very effective for people who are short on time, but still want to get good results. A handful of cashews or almonds coupled with an apple or some blueberries are going to help you get those intense moments when you feel your muscles burning with effort.
Post-workout: To prevent lethargy and achy muscles, you’ll need something to beat the hunger pangs and help your muscles recover. A tuna sandwich, or even better, some grilled chicken with quinoa and boiled veggies is a good choice that will help all your effort pay off.
Remember to take your pre-workout meal about 1-3 hours before you start, depending on how your body reacts to food.
Are you someone who needs time for their stomach to settle down? Then leave more time between the meal and the beginning of the workout.
As for the post-workout snack, ideally you should eat it within half an hour right after you finish exercising. That way you’ll be getting all the benefits and giving your body the fuel it needs.