Eat Right Before Working Out
Finally, yes finally, we have some decent weather. Nick and I have about an acre of standing water that we are now calling “the pond.” We figure if we put the house on the market real quick we can get waterfront prices. If only.... Well, we are all coming back to life after the tough winter. Spring has sprung and trees and flowers are bursting with color. Makes ya feel good, doesn’t it?
With spring comes a burst of energy—enough to get started back into a workout routine. Yup, for many of us the holidays put a crimp in our workout routines, the snow and the blizzards left us house-bound and bored. Many of us snacked our way into oblivion and weight gain. Did we eat the right foods for optimum nutrition? Probably not. So this year we really have to “knuckle down” and get serious. It’s already Easter ladies and gents—so let’s hop to it.
My newest client is a 25 year old male who wants to enter the military. He needs to lose some weight, tighten up, tone up, and build some muscle. The workouts are going great, and he has gained some awesome strength, but we have to fine-tune his diet. He works some strange hours, so his sleep patterns are skewed. We have to get a serious nutritional schedule going. I always ask him if he had anything to eat before his workout. It’s very important to get in a good snack to get the muscles pumping. So, when I get the answer—fried chicken and French fries—we’re in trouble. This “before the workout” meal was unacceptable. I explained that there are snacks out there that provide optimum nutrition and energy to spare. That greasy, salty, fat laden meal will surely hurt a workout. So what should he have?
Well, the best meal before your exercise should be lo-fat, low in fiber, a good protein and carb mix, and fluidsfor easy digestion–a food that is well tolerated by the body. So what are we looking at here? There are lots of choices: fruits and vegetables, bread, rice, pasta, cereal, yogurt, nuts, protein bars, and grilled meats like chicken, burgers, and even fish.
But do not pig out! This is a “before the workout” meal. It should be a moderate to small amount–too much could bloat you and make you feel tired and heavy. And might I add—no soda! Zip-zero!
Now, the meal you should have after your energetic workout is going to be a little different. You should eat the same items as before your workout, but a larger amount. My suggestion is to eat more protein and veggies and cut back on the pasta, rice and bread. This is really an important meal and every nutritious calorie should count. Every before and after meal should include lots of water —very important! So, give it a try and feel the difference. Bet you will.
To all my readers out there, a final note. Nick and I drove to Washington DC the first day that marriage equality was offered there. We stood in line with those 300 other “love birds” and paid for our marriage license. We had to wait the 3-day period and called to arrange a ceremony. It took a week to get through but we finally did. We scheduled our official ceremony for early April, and are both really looking forward to it. Thanks for all the wonderful congrats from friends and family. We intend to view the cherry blossoms while there for a colorful honeymoon. See you soon!
Rick Moore is a personal trainer certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates.