Sports and food. It is sometimes quite a puzzle. What do you do if you want to lose weight, but get hungry from exercising? What do you eat before training and which snack is the best for after your workout?
1. Oatmeal porridge
Oatmeal porridge is perfect for athletes. The carbohydrates from the oatmeal slowly become available for your muscles and the porridge supplies you with protein when you mix in some milk. Moreover, oatmeal porridge is quick to prepare. Add some fresh fruit and you have a complete breakfast. Eat the porridge about 1 to 2 hours before you exercise. Digestion requires energy from your body and it is difficult to combine sports and eating because the muscles also require a lot of energy.
When: 1 to 2 hours before workout.
2. Boiled egg
Eggs are fantastic sports food: rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. They are ideal to stimulate your muscle building after strength training. You can also add a whole-grain cracker or sandwich if you have trained hard.
When: As a snack after strength training.
3. Cottage cheese with banana and some nuts
Cottage cheese is very rich in protein and the banana provides you with the carbohydrates that your body can quickly use for exertion. After training, the carbohydrates ensure that your energy reserves are replenished. Bananas are also very good as a snack during exercise! Nuts can provide you with some extra fats and energy and the ‘crunch’ that make this quick meal delicious.
When: As a protein-rich snack after an evening workout (if you ate a light evening meal).
4. Salad with smoked chicken, lettuce and cherry tomatoes
Chicken is a great muscle food: in 100 grams it contains no less than 30 grams of protein! If you take this as your lunch or dinner after a morning workout, it will stimulate muscle growth. Choose ready-made smoked chicken fillet and you will have this salad on the table in 5 minutes.
When: As a light meal after exercise. Perfect for people who want to lose weight. If you are very hungry, you can add a little bit of cooked pasta or chickpeas to the salad.
5. Chocolate milk
Good news for chocolate lovers: a glass of chocolate milk is a good recovery drink. The proteins enables muscle building and the minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium are a blessing for your muscles and the sugars replenish your energy.
When: After a workout, for example running or an hour of fitness.
Make a smoothie from yogurt and fresh fruit or you can try green smoothie powders. The combinations of strawberry with mango, pear with raspberry or banana with blueberries are very tasty. Optionally, add a dash of orange juice to make the smoothie a little thinner. A smoothie contains protein, fruit sugars, vitamins and moisture, making it a perfect after-workout snack.
When: After a tough workout, for example, a round of running.
7. Currant bun or muesli bun
The carbohydrates from the flour and raisins give you the necessary energy for a workout. Because it is a light meal, your stomach and intestines will not be working hard during training. Take a light meal or snack after exercise, such as a smoothie.
When: As a light meal before you exercise. You can also take a currant bun on a long bike ride or walk.
Last but not least! Water is and remains the best thirst quencher during exercise. Most people do not need sports drinks when exercising. Only if you go out for more than 1 hour can a sports drink with carbohydrates be useful. But they also provide calories so be careful when consuming them. Especially if you want to lose weight: just drink water.
When: Water is essential and it you should drink it all the time.
Edward Redmond is a professional gym trainer and an Avid Herbalist. He has been active for the last 9 years with his pieces of advice on fitness, eating right and healthy.