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Good food and drinks for exercising
Regardless of your level of activity, your goal should always be a balanced, nutritious diet. It can be a huge asset for both exercising and maintaining good blood pressure levels.
You get most of your energy from carbohydrates found in starchy foods. These enable your body to function best in exercise and life in general. As a rule of thumb, the more you exercise the more carbohydrates (energy) you should probably consume. Eat too few carbohydrates, and you may not have enough energy to complete your workout.
Healthy carbohydrate sources:
- Brown Rice
Common wisdom suggests that protein consumption is the key to muscle growth. While it’s very important, it does not work alone! To build muscle effectively, you should also incorporate carbohydrates and fat into your diet. Overeating protein may result in excess being stored for energy.
Healthy protein sources:
- Beans, peas and lentils
- Select dairy products (cheese, yogurt, milk)
- Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, trout)
- Tofu and plant-based meat alternatives
- Lean meat
Most of your daily meals should include some form of protein to boost muscle growth. Consuming protein pre-and post-workout is a proven asset in repairing muscle.
Protein sources for exercise specifically:
- Pea Protein
- Brown Rice
Should I exercise after I eat a main meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner)?
Not right afterwards. It is best to leave about three hours after your meal. It can be beneficial, however, to have a snack before your workout. Snacks that are quickly digestible include:
- One slice of wholegrain bread with butter
- Unsweetened yogurt
- Crackers with a spread of cottage cheese
- One glass of milk or a similar, non-dairy alternative
What foods should I avoid before exercise?
A good rule of thumb is to stay away from high-fat or high-fiber foods or foods that can cause symptoms of high blood pressure. These include things like:
- Fried potato products (chips and French fries)
- Fatty cheeses
- Raw veggies
What should I eat after exercise?
Effective recovery from training definitely depends on what you put into your body afterwards. If you’re the type of person who trains several times a day, you’ll want to take in a nice blend of carbohydrates and protein after your workout (i.e. an apple and a glass of milk). Doing so within an hour can have great effects on your recovery.
What about water?
To get the most out of your exercise, you should be properly hydrated. Improper hydration can have adverse effects on performance. Water is the perfect drink for moderate exercises, but if you plan on exercising for more than an hour, sports drinks like Gatorade or a high carb meal will do the trick. To limit your sugar intake, make a sports drink yourself, using squash, water and a large pinch of salt.