This is the first post in a new mini series I am publishing, looking at what your body needs before, during and after your workout. Nutrition is at the core of your healthy lifestyle. What you eat is the fuel to power your body to exercise, work, think and live. At certain times around physical exercise, your body’s demands for nutrition will change. This first installment is looking at what your body needs 2 hours before your workout.
What Your Body Needs
In the hours before your workout, you have time … time for your body to digest and process what you feed it. That doesn’t mean you should go for a super-heavy, cheese-laden calorie bomb. Just that you can eat a substantial meal and not barf on the treadmill. The main thing to keep in mind for a meal at this point before your workout is that this food is going to provide most of the nutrition to power you through your workout. What you need will depend on your workout. If you are going to run a marathon, your meal will be different than if you are taking a yoga class.
Your body’s most efficient source of energy is carbohydrates. Your body can create energy from fats and protein, but this is less efficient and a meal with little or no carbs pre-workout will probably leave you feeling pretty lifeless. Aim for a meal with a good balance of carbs and protein. Favor vegetables over fruit at this point as fruit will be ideal a little closer to exercise. The healthy fats found in avocado are great to include as they aid in muscle elasticity and heart health and provide some longer-term energy.
This recipe for Lentil Burgers would be ideal as a light meal to have a couple of hours before a workout. I always find that vegetarian meals feel lighter and are easier to digest, but everyone is different. You could try a lean turkey burger if you prefer. It would be beneficial and tasty to add some sliced avocado to these burgers. As mentioned above, avocado will help sustain your energy for a tough workout, and they are also great for your muscles and heart.
Next time we will look at what to have to eat leading up to your workout. Tune in again soon!
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