You’ve probably heard the saying “80% of what you eat, 20% exercise”. The food and nutrients you feed yourself are just as important as the workout if not more, especially for before you exercise and after. Foods high in sodium or sugar tend to slow down your functioning, whether you be at work or exercising. Your energy level comes crashing down after a sugary beverage and then you begin to crave certain foods. In this case, what is best, for those of you who do any type of workout whether it be cardio such as running or dance, to those who weight train ranging from as upper body strength to legs, read on for a routine that I have implemented to keep me on track.
Fill up on protein, no I don’t just mean shakes and bars, protein enriched foods and snacks. Some examples would be bananas, dried fruits, mixed nuts, eggs (I prefer hard-boiled), quinoa, greek yogurt, and oats. Actually most of the time, I will have a few of those listed for breakfast but they definitely can work for an “any time of the day snack.” That way you will start off with energy to continue on with your day. I prefer to exercise in the evenings so that I can prepare my body for the workout all day. For those morning go-getters, Bless, there is an even bigger struggle to make sure that you are ready for that 6:00 a.m. boot camp.
What you feed your body before a workout is essential, but what about after? Is that equally as important? Most think not, but in reality, if you are focusing on becoming leaner or stronger, muscle recovery and rebuild take place after a workout. You want to make sure you are hydrating with the proper nutrients to continue to see your results. For example, my after workout essentials are indeed those bars and shakes, but I chose natural or I choose to make my own. Some prepared shakes and bars in stores have hidden names for ingredients that could contain a sugary-based substance that can hurt you in the long run. My go to beverage to have after a workout (since I drink plenty water during the day, and workout) is coconut milk. I put it in my shakes to give it a light consistency so that digestion is smooth and rehydrates the body for recovery. Making protein bites or bars with ingredients such as lemons, blueberries and even peanuts will boost overall performance and will give you lasting positive effects. I’ll end this with a quote I say to myself but also others who ask and I like to motivate, “If you want to love your body, feed it right, consume the good and exit out the bad.”