Nutrition of athletes is a strict diet, individually selected balanced menu. What is about amateur athletes, their diet has far fewer requirements. Nevertheless, not everyone knows about them. So, when you go to the gym, and after a workout you refuse food, thinking that this will help you to consolidate the result of training, is that the right thing to do? Let’s see.
Food before training
In order to stay full of energy while doing sports, do not fall asleep, do not lose consciousness from exhaustion, you should start the exercises with food that will fill you with energy, that is, carbohydrates. Exercising on an empty stomach is not recommended. And an organism that has not received food for 8 hours is considered hungry. If you are training in the morning – eat 40–60 minutes before the start of the training, you can consume oatmeal, banana, cereal bar, drink tea with honey. Food must contain complex carbohydrates, chocolate, cookies, and other sweets are prohibited. If you work out during the day or in the evening – start training within 1.5–2 hours after a meal. There are no special recommendations in this case.
Exercise on an empty stomach is permissible only in the case of aerobic training, which include walking, running, swimming, dancing, figure skating, some team sports, yoga.
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To eat or not eat after a workout – that is the question
During sports, glucose is consumed first, then glycogen (the so-called storage carbohydrates), and only after that – adipose tissue. Therefore, after a workout, the main thing is to restore the level of glucose in the blood. If you have performed cardio exercises, the most optimal solution is to eat 10-15 minutes after class. That is, you do not pounce on food in the locker room, but do not wait until you return home. You can safely take a shower, get dressed, and after that drink fresh juice, smoothies, eat fruit (apples, pears, kiwi will do). If you do not eat within a few hours after exercise, then you slow down the metabolic processes in the body.
If your goal is to lose weight, then after a carbohydrate snack, you can stop eating for a couple of hours. Your body will burn its own fats.
If you are doing power exercises, seeking to build muscle mass, then within an hour after a workout, you need to eat food that is high in protein. Some experts claim that the so-called metabolic window rule – the period of active tissue repair and protein synthesis happen in this period. The best option would be a protein shake. It can be replaced with egg white, chicken breast, lean fish. But in no case after training should you eat dairy products, for example, low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese.
So, after any workout in the gym, you need to eat something that contains carbohydrates or proteins – depending on your goals and the type of exercise. It should be a light snack. And after you arrive home you can have a balanced dinner.
How should a perfect dinner after a workout in the gym look like?
- steamed white fish;
- lean poultry meat;
- eggs (protein).