The food we consume is just as important as staying mentally and physically fit.
Whatever your activity of choice is when it comes to staying fit, it is important to maintain a balanced diet that fuels your body pre-workout, repairs your body post-workout and is overall beneficial for your mental and physical wellbeing.
The team at Herbalife SA have shared a few expert tips to help you plan your pre and post-workout meals with superfoods that will nourish your mind and body. Take a look below.
Many recommend consuming carbohydrates before a workout as a way to increase our energy levels so that we can perform at our best. Complex carbs should be consumed two to three hours before, as they take longer to digest, while you can get away with having simple carbs twenty to thirty minutes prior to a session. Here are some great options of foods to eat before you exercise:
Banana and peanut butter
This is a well-rounded snack to have before you begin your chosen activity. Bananas are considered a carbohydrate and include powerful antioxidants. Peanut butter then brings necessary protein to the table which helps to optimise muscle repair.
Oatmeal and berries
You can’t go wrong with a warm bowl of oatmeal before exercising. Not only is it great tasting, but it’s a sustainable source of energy, too. This is because oatmeal is considered a complex carb that’s high in fibre. Berries on the other hand are known to improve reaction times and help to keep us focused during a workout.
Yoghurt and apple
For those pushed for time, this quick-sticks meal is ideal. Yoghurt is a dairy product that provides our bodies with both protein and calcium, so it helps to build muscle and keep our bones strong. Besides ensuring a delicious flavour combination, apples also contain fibre which helps to keep us healthy. Added benefits include improving heart health and regulating the body’s sugar levels.
Nuts and raisins
Two tiny superfoods with big benefits. Nuts are good sources of fats, fibre, and protein. All of which, when combined, keep us feeling fuller for longer and stabilise blood sugar levels. Raisins are full of antioxidants and contain natural sugars which give your body little boosts of energy as you work out.
During a workout, our muscles use their glycogen stores to fuel our activity which can break down our muscle protein. After exercising ii is important to repair this with carbohydrates and proteins that can speed up the process. Here are some great options of foods to eat after you exercise:
Grilled chicken and roast vegetables
Chicken is an ideal post-exercise meal as it’s packed with easily digestible protein. This gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair muscle proteins and rebuild muscle tissue. No doubt a tasty side dish, vegetables are also a good source of essential minerals and contain calcium and iron, which can boost your metabolism and increase bone strength.
Tuna and wholegrain bread
As quick and easy as it is delicious, this combination brings all the right nutrients to your after-exercise routine. Tuna fish contains omega-3 fatty acids known to reduce muscle soreness and swelling. Wholegrain bread is a complex carbohydrate that contains B vitamins and magnesium which help to strengthen bones and relieve muscle tensions or spasms.
Hummus and pita bread
Mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic equals an unparalleled taste sensation. Don’t underestimate the health benefits that hummus brings with it, too. Known to fight inflammation and control blood sugar levels, it's a force to be reckoned with. What’s more, the amino acids in the chickpeas when paired with pita bread offer a complete protein combination ideal for muscle repair.
Yoghurt and berry protein shake
Protein shakes promote muscle gain, improve performance, and aid in our recovery. Choosing a combo of yoghurt and berries then ensures you’re getting the calcium you need for strengthening bones and a necessary energy boost.