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4 Essentials to get the Most out of Your Workout

By Ashley Chapman

Keeping an active lifestyle is important, especially as you get older. Staying active has many benefits including: weight management, flexibility and increases in range of motion. However, just working out is not the only thing you need to be consistent with. What you eat and drink, can improve your benefits of weight loss and muscle gain.

Below are four essentials to help get the most out of your workout.

Carbohydrates for Energy

While many stray from eating carbohydrates, they are beneficial to your energy source, especially before and after a workout.

Your body breaks down carbohydrates into sugars, which is used as an energy source. Carbohydrates can be less purposeful if you do not use them for energy. If not used, they end up being stored, which results in weight gain.

Carbohydrates can act as an energy source to help increase the intensity of your workout.

Some carbohydrates that are good before or after a workout include:

  • Fruit, such as bananas, apples or strawberries
  • Any vegetable
  • Nuts, such as walnuts or almonds

Time Your Portions Accordingly

Depending on when you are planning on working out, it is important to time your meals before you start your workout.

If you work out in the evenings and plan to eat a larger meal, it is best to wait at least 3 hours before starting your exercise regimen. If you work out in the morning and do not have the time to eat a huge meal, try to wait at least an hour before a workout if you have a small snack to tide you over.

Giving wait time between your eating and exercise will lower your chances of experiencing a stomachache.

Protein for After

Whether you just finished a strength training workout or cardio, protein is beneficial to all.

The benefits of eating protein after a workout include increased strength and energy and can help repair muscles that may have micro-tears (from lifting weights). If you do not get enough protein after a workout, this may result in feeling tired and experiencing more soreness.

Prevent Dehydration

Water is important for before, during and after any type of exercise. Whether you swim laps, run miles or you're doing a strength day, water will keep you from experiencing cramps, which can be a result of dehydration.

Try to avoid large consumptions of sports drinks, as these can be loaded with sugar, and will backtrack you on your weight goals.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Newtown Square, Pa.

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