Choose the best foods to consume before and after training for optimal performance and recovery.
If you do like most people, you train for about an hour, but ultimately it is what happens in the remaining 23 hours of the day, and above all from nutrition, which depend on the results you get.
What you eat before and after training is a fundamental part of the program and making the right choices will help you get the results you want.
Not all foods, however, are suitable for providing you with energy for the type of activity you perform.
For example, you would never eat fried chicken immediately before running a marathon – unless you want to put everything back after the first kilometer – just as you would never eat a simple salad after a strenuous metcon, because lettuce alone does not provides the body with what it needs for tissue recovery and reconstruction.
For this article we have examined the latest discoveries in sports nutrition science, in order to suggest the best foods and eating habits for various types of physical activity.
This will help you understand how to charge yourself before training and how to replenish your body at the end of the session.
Use this information as a guideline to know what to eat to achieve your goals.
WEIGHTLIFTING BEFORE GIVE YOURSELF WITH THE PROTEINS
- A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition shows that taking protein in the pre-workout snack can help reduce muscle protein breakdown and boost after-session gains.
- However, avoid devouring a hamburger before squatting (it’s a stomach bomb!).
- About 30 minutes before training, make a light snack that provides some carbohydrates and easily digestible proteins.
Eat this: energy patties: Leave 160 g of dried figs (without the stalk) to soak in hot water for 30 minutes.
Drain them, dry them gently and blend them with 30 g of natural protein powder, 25 g of cocoa powder, 60 g of almond butter, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, the zest of an orange, the juice of half an orange and a pinch of salt.
Work the mixture to form meatballs with a diameter of about 2.5 cm and keep them in the refrigerator.
Eat two before training.
AFTER EAT THE EGGS
- In a comparative study, researchers from the University of Illinois found that by providing subjects with 18 g of whole egg protein after weight training, the synthesis of myofibrillary proteins (i.e. muscle building) was stimulated by approximately 40% in more than what happened using only egg whites.
- Egg white proteins are complete, that is, they contain the right combination of essential amino acids; however, fats and other nutrients present in the yolk are likely to act in synergy with egg white proteins, promoting the recovery of tired muscles.
Eat this: extra protein egg toast
- Crush 2 hard-boiled eggs and mix them with 2 teaspoons of pesto and 70 g of natural Greek yogurt.
- Spread on a slice of toasted wholemeal bread.
DO NOT neglect the ricotta
- Ricotta is an excellent source of leucine, the best amino acid you can take after weight training to promote growth.
- According to the research, leucine acts like a hormone in the body, stimulating muscle protein synthesis in response to resistance training.
- Take a leucine source such as cottage cheese and an equal amount of carbohydrate-rich food to increase insulin levels and make protein assimilation more efficient.
Eat this: the bodybuilder’s bowl
- Mix 125 g of semi-skimmed milk ricotta and a scoop of whey protein powder in a bowl.
- Pour over 50 g of muesli and 100 g of pineapple cut into small pieces.
BEFORE HELP FROM BLUEBERRIES
- Researchers from Appalachian State University in North Carolina have found that eating blueberries before intense training reduces muscle damage markers.
- The high concentration of antioxidants present in blueberries reduces the stress associated with a hard workout like HIIT.
- Furthermore, thanks to their natural sugars, blueberries are an easily digestible energy source, so you can train at a higher intensity level and for longer.
- Eat blueberries and a protein source 30-60 minutes before training at intervals to prevent the body from affecting the muscles for energy.
Eat this: rice cakes with blueberries
- Spread a spoonful of cream cheese on a rice cake and pour over 50 g of blueberries and a teaspoon of toasted sunflower seeds without salt.
AFTER SUPER CEREALS
- A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that subjects who had been given a cup of whole grains with skim milk after a moderate-intensity interval workout recovered better.
- Carbohydrates, in fact, supplied glycogen reserves, while milk proteins reduced muscle breakdown.
- After training, 9 g of milk protein is enough to start the muscle building process.
Eat this: simple cereals
Pour 30 g of 100% whole grains with low sugar content into a bowl, then add a cup of skim milk and a handful of dried nuts and black cherries, respectively.
NEVER AGAIN WITHOUT COFFEE
- Recent research has found that adding caffeine to carbohydrates taken after exercise can improve performance in the interval training session performed four hours later.
- It is possible that caffeine increases the amount of glycogen produced from the carbohydrates taken, thus allowing you to have more energy and, therefore, to train harder.
- Also take some protein to repair micro-injuries to muscle fibers, speed recovery and keep hunger at bay.
Eat this: therapeutic coffee
Blend 250 ml of American coffee, a scoop of natural or vanilla flavored protein powder, a spoonful of almond butter, a spoonful of cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and a frozen banana cut into small pieces.
CROSSFIT BEFORE IMPROVE THE CIRCULATION
- A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that people who drank about two glasses of watermelon juice an hour before training experienced less muscle soreness 24 hours later.
- It is believed that L-citrulline, an amino acid naturally present in the watermelon, increases the flow of blood to the muscles, thus promoting the elimination of metabolic waste and the supply of nutrients for recovery.
Eat this: watermelon for warming
Pour 200 g of natural low-fat Greek yogurt into a bowl, then add a little cubed watermelon, a spoonful of toasted pumpkin seeds and a pinch of honey.
AFTER COOLER VS. CARBS
- Adding quality carbohydrates to the recovery meal after the CrossFit session allows you to replenish your energy reserves, but it could also help keep your cold at bay.
- According to research, in fact, it seems that foods rich in carbohydrates such as potatoes, cereals and fruit prevent the decrease in immune defenses associated with intense training.
- So it will be more difficult for viruses to invade your body and force you to bed.
Eat this: roasted sweet potato buns
- Preheat the oven to 200 °.
- Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Remove the ends of a sweet potato and then cut it lengthwise into slices about 0.5 cm thick.
- Arrange them on the pan without overlapping them, brush them with a little oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook them for 10 minutes, then turn them, brush them again with the oil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until you feel they are tender by pricking them with a fork.
- Spread some hummus on the potato “sandwiches” and cover them with sliced roasted chicken.
A TREASURE FROM THE SEA
- Studies show that increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids (such as those contained in salmon, sardines and mackerel) can moderate muscle soreness with delayed onset.
- When omega-3s reach the muscle cells, they limit the damage induced by training, which causes painful inflammations, and can also stimulate body processes that induce an increase in lean body mass.
Eat this: healthy salmon crackers
Spread 2 tablespoons of cream cheese on 2 rye crackers such as Wasa, then place 85 g of smoked salmon and 40 g of baked red pepper on it in slices.
STATIONARY CARDIO BEFORE THE SOUP IS SERVED
- In a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, those who ate chicken and noodle soup before training on the exercise bike drank more and remained more hydrated during the session than those who only drank water.
- It seems that sodium and other substances found in soups stimulate a change in the kidney that promotes hydration.
- Noodles, on the other hand, provide some energizing carbohydrates, necessary for long training.
Eat this: pre-workout soup
Heat up a ready-made quality soup such as Pacific Organic Chicken Noodle (broth with meat, vegetables, chicken and noodles) and eat it about 30-60 minutes before the aerobic activity session.
If you need more carbohydrates, accompany it with some wholemeal crackers.
AFTER THE SUCCESS OF MILK FLAKES
- Proteins and carbohydrates do not only help to replenish energy reserves and promote muscle recovery.
- British researchers found that subjects who were given these nutrients in a 3 to 1 ratio after a treadmill run experienced less bone breakdown and greater bone reconstruction.
- The cottage cheese contains all the proteins necessary to accelerate recovery, while the addition of foods such as muesli or fruit provides the muscles with the carbohydrates they need.
Eat this: bone health snack
Mix 200 g of lean cottage cheese, 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and a frozen banana cut into slices.
YOGA BEFORE A MIX OF NUTRIENTS
- If you do yoga without first eating, your body will not have the energy needed to stay in the Crane position for a long time.
- The assorted dried fruit packs have a good balance between carbohydrates, fats and proteins, therefore they satisfy and provide energy.
- Typically these products have a low glycemic index, so eating one or two handfuls stimulates the body to use the fat reserves to give you the energy you need for Vinyasa Yoga.
Eat this: Ohmmm-snack
Pour 40 g of popcorn without oil or butter, 85 g of chopped dried meat, 95 g of pecans, 60 g of dried blueberries, 80 g of dark chocolate chips and 40 g of pumpkin seeds into a large bowl.
AFTER HYDRATION AND PROTECTION
- Typically yoga classes increase flexibility and promote relaxation, but do not allow you to burn many calories.
- Afterwards, therefore, you should eat something light and refreshing like melon, rich in water to rehydrate and natural sugars to replenish the energy reserves.
- Eat it with yogurt to quench hunger and promote muscle repair.
- Bonus: if you like to train regularly at high intensity, yogurt probiotics can help you increase your immune system.
- Pour into a bowl and garnish the plate with raspberries and muesli.
CHERRY ON THE CAKE
- Sour cherries have a bitter taste, but various studies show that the antioxidants present in these fruits (especially in the Montmorency variety, grown in America) can promote post-workout recovery and reduce muscle inflammation caused by repetitive movements such as running.
- Also, by eating dried fruit after a duration workout, it is easier for simple carbohydrates to be stored in the form of glycogen than fat.
Eat this: energizing piadina roll
Mix 80 g of ricotta with a tablespoon of almond butter, a teaspoon of maple syrup and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Spread on a wholemeal piadina, roll it up and pour over a handful of dried black cherries.
- AN ADEQUATE POST-TRAINING MEAL ENHANCES MUSCLE RECOVERY AND RECONSTRUCTION.
- Eat this: melon for recovery
- Cut a melon in half, remove the seeds and pour some natural yogurt inside.
- Then add a tablespoon of pistachios and one of fresh mint cut into slices.
- GREEN FOR HEALTH
The antioxidants and minerals present in dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, promote muscle repair after the most intense yoga sessions, which require moving from one complex position to another.
Drink this: green smoothie
Blend 250 ml of sugar-free almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, 30 g of fresh spinach and 80 g of frozen mango cut into cubes.