When it comes to fitness, there are definitely some key questions we have to get the most of our workouts. This includes: how do we lose weight faster, burn more calories and feel energized enough to power through every training session? There is one specific and simple answer that answers all these questions and that is, eat the right food at the right times.
It’s Important to Eat Before Your Workout
Many wrongly think that the best way to lose weight is to work out hard and then wait until mealtimes to eat. However, research shows that whether you eat or don’t eat before exercise, the human body burns the same amount of fat. In fact, working out regularly on an empty stomach can actually cause muscle loss. This is because when you are hungry, your body goes into survival mode and draws protein from muscles instead of from the kidneys and liver where the body normally stores protein. When this happens, you lose muscle mass, which may slow down your metabolism, which in turn, makes it harder to lose weight. In addition, exercising on an empty stomach does not give you the fuel needed to power through an intense training session.
Why It’s Important to Eat After Your Workout
It’s also important to eat after your workout because during exercise, your body taps the fuel (known as glycogen) stored in your muscles for energy. After a strenuous workout, your muscles are depleted of their glycogen stores and broken down. Eating or drinking something that combines protein and carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour after your workout refills energy stores. It also builds and repairs your muscles, helping to keep your metabolism rate up.
Studies have shown that your body’s ability to refill muscle stores decreases by 50 percent if you wait to eat just two hours after your workout compared to eating right away. Therefore, the sooner you start refuelling, the better it is for your body. If you are at the gym, why not plan ahead and take along a protein shake or a wholegrain sandwich with peanut butter?
Eating clean, balanced meals is a great way to supplement any exercise regime, but it does not make sense to fuel up for yoga the same way you would when spinning (indoor cycling) or going for a long run. So, just what types of food should you enjoy to make the most of your chosen exercise?