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Eat the Right Foods for Your Workouts

By Donna Kostiew

When it comes to fitness, there are many universal questions that trainers hear almost every day: “What is more important, weight training or cardio? How can I maximize my efforts at the gym? How often should I work out?” And while these are great questions to ask, they aren’t the most important. I often hear people talk about losing weight and their plan of attack is to work out really hard and then wait until the next meal to eat. But that isn’t the best way to get to the desired results. So the question that needs to be asked along with the others is, “What should I eat, and when should I eat it?”

Working Out on an Empty Stomach? Not a Good Idea

If you exercise on an empty stomach you’re not providing your body with the proper amount of fuel it needs to get through your workout and you can actually cause loss of muscle as well. And if that wasn’t bad enough, exercising on an empty stomach can slow your metabolism down, which will make it harder for you to lose those extra pounds. Doesn’t sound like you are maximizing your efforts at all, does it?

What to Eat Before Your Workout

Feed your body before your workouts with a complex carbohydrate and a protein. Here are some suggestions.

  • Apple and unsalted almonds
  • Oatmeal
  • Banana with almond butter
  • Dried fruit and cheese
  • Yogurt with fruit

Now that you have fueled your body and had an amazing workout, it’s time to think about eating again.

Round Two … Feed Your Body after Your Workout

Ideally, you should eat again within an hour after you complete your workout, so if you aren’t planning on having a meal within that time frame, plan to bring a snack. You want to replenish your body with the proper nutrition that will aid in muscle recovery, so think of foods that include both carbohydrates and protein. These are important because they will replace the depleted glycogen, repair any damaged muscle tissue, restore your energy, and boost your metabolism.

What to Eat After Your Workout

The sooner you refuel your body, the better off you'll be. Here are some suggestions for your post-workout snack.

  • Protein shake
  • Peanut butter and bananas
  • Salad with roasted chickpeas
  • Turkey and avocado sandwich
  • Hummus and vegetables
  • Cottage cheese with fruit
  • Hard-boiled eggs

The secret to getting and maintaining your desired weight is a combination of regular exercise and eating the right foods at the right times. You need to eat before and after every workout if you want to maximize your workout efforts and prevent injuries. And don’t forget to see your local chiropractor on a regular basis too. Chiropractic adjustments keep your body in optimal shape for workouts, help to prevent injuries, and speed up healing time if you do get hurt. And if you have questions about your overall health? They’re the perfect ones to talk to. No question about that.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in La Verne, Calif.

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