Knowing what, when and how much to eat can help you maximise performance and increase comfort during workouts. According to Sue Travis, RD, PhD, it’s important to eat adequately before and after any fitness activity to refuel. Follow a few simple rules to make the most of your cheap gym membership in 2013.
Eat a proper breakfast
A lot of people make a big mistake by drinking just a cup of coffee for breakfast or even skipping it. Your blood sugar is already low in the morning, so you don’t have enough energy to exercise and work if you don’t eat breakfast. Have wholegrain cereals and bread, bananas, low-fat milk and juice to raise your blood sugar and feel energetic, especially if you prefer morning workouts.
To make the most of your workouts, divide the calories you consume between carbohydrates, fat and protein. The sources of carbohydrates are cereals, vegetables, fruit, bread, pasta, rice, etc. Just remember that excess carbs go straight into the liver and tissues, so keep your daily carb intake moderate.
Protein is important for carbs to absorb more slowly. Eggs, meat, chicken, beans and fish all contain protein. What concerns fat, opt for low-fat products such as lean meat and 1% fat milk. Try to have a combination of products of the three groups at least for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Eating well doesn’t mean overeating, especially before exercising. Eat large meals at least three to four hours before workouts, have small portions two hours before exercising and eat a small snack an hour before going to the gym.
Snacks eaten right before and during workouts are the make or break factor to how your feel. The right snacks eaten before workouts can help you keep your blood sugar up. Choose from energy bars, bananas, fresh fruit, yoghurt, whole-grain bagels, granola bars, crackers with peanut butter, fruit smoothies and energy drinks.
The bottom line is that eating regular balanced meals rich in protein, carbs and fat may help maximise your workouts. Remember to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and feel refreshed.