What to eat before/during/after a workout

There is an undeniable connection between eating and exercise. Knowing when and what to eat can make a huge difference in the quality of your workouts. 

It's logical that the best foods to eat before exercising depend on the type of workout and of course, to a person’s goals.

Before

When: Ideally 2 to 3 hours before exercising, to allow the body to to digest the meal.

What: Preferably a meal rich in complex carbohydrates and protein.

Why:  Carbs = energy. Carbs break down into glucose, enter our muscle cells, and give us fuel to exercise at our maximum capacity. Your muscles store glucose in the form of glycogen and dip into these reserves when you're putting them to work. 

Examples: a granola bar, bananas, whole grains, oatmeal, or yogurt and fruit

During

What: Whether you’re a professional athlete who trains for several hours or you have a low to moderate routine, keep your body hydrated with small, frequent sips of water.

Note that you don’t need to eat during a workout that’s an hour or less. But, for longer, high-intensity vigorous workouts, eating 50-100 calories every half hour of carbohydrates is recommended

Why: Topping up with extra carbohydrate during the training session can help to maintain blood glucose levels to fuel your muscles and brain during exercise. And it will help you to get the most out of your training session by sustaining intensity for longer.

Example: energy gels, bars, a banana, raisins,... 

After

When? Within two hours of your exercise session, if possible. 

What: To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein. Look for foods that are easily digested to speed up nutrient absorption.

Why: Eating the right foods after exercise can help you recover, build muscle, and prepare for your next regimen.

Example: 

Carbohydrates: chia pudding, crackers, oatmeal, sweet potatoes,...
Protein: chocolate milk, eggs, cottage cheese, peanut butter,...
Healthy fats: avocado, nuts, coconut oil,...