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Not eating before workouts will hurt you, not help you - here’s why

Women at the gym, Image: Pexels
Women at the gym, Image: Pexels

When you’re in full-fitness mode, it can become addicting, paying careful attention to exactly what you’re eating, how long you’re working out for, and seeing how your body is changing.

The feeling of accomplishment, both on the inside and the outside, is such a rewarding experience.

But, if we get too lost in the moment, we can end up focusing on the wrong steps in our health journey and forget the importance of nourishing our bodies.

Food doesn’t hurt us, it helps us, and this is especially key to remember when it comes to exercising.

If you don’t properly nourish your body prior to exercising, you will end up losing muscle, not fat, and your workout will be completely ineffective and not target your tone-down goals.

Here’s a check-list to hold yourself accountable throughout the day to maximize your workouts, and stay well-nourished!

Plan out your days

To maximize efficiency in your day, plan ahead. Make sure your eating schedule is oriented around when you’ll be working out - your body will thank you later.

For instance, if you’re planning on exercising at noon, eat a hearty breakfast two hours beforehand.

A smoothie with fruit and spinach, oatmeal, or a banana are great options. Eat something, but not super heavy.

Having a large omelet with toast, bacon, and tons of vegetables may make you uncomfortable and bloated when working out. Keep it light, but filling.

Have a back-up option

Sometimes, life gets in the way and our plans don’t exactly go as smoothly as we had hoped. That’s why it’s crucial to have a back-up plan in mind.

Say you’re running around all morning - doing errands, taking care of your kids, work meetings, wherever your day is taking you - and you didn’t have time to make a breakfast that’s going to carry you through your workout.

Not to fear. At the very least, always have healthy snacks on you. Some quick ideas?

Eat two dates before working out (or even in the middle, after your warm-up), a handful of nuts, or a pre-workout smoothie, which can just be a powder you can easily add to water.

These quick fixes will help your body make the most of your sweat session.

Refuel and recharge

Eating and nourishing your body post-workout is just as important as eating beforehand.

Your muscles are likely feeling weak and depleted, and you want to restore them back to full energy and a place of efficiency.

To help your body restore the glycogen in your muscles, eat protein or healthy carbs about 30 minutes after exercising.

Physical activity can take a lot out of you, and to make the most out of the rest of your day, you need to give yourself back the energy you exerted.

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