Getting the best workout involves many things, from staying hydrated to a proper warm-up. Another thing that enables people to get the most benefit from their health and fitness programs is knowing when and what to eat, especially after exercise. A great benefit that members of health and fitness centers often have available is nutrition coaching by fitness trainers and dietary specialists, who help clients attain their goals through proper eating and exercise. Nutrition plans are a key building block o personal fitness, as referenced in the tips below.

Is Eating Before Working Out Important?

Staying hydrated at all times is important, even above eating before or after a workout. If you do plan to eat before exercising at local health and fitness centers, be sure to allow enough time to completely digest your food – usually a minimum of an hour. Lighter exercise and fitness workouts, such as walking, jogging and lower-intensity exercise, can be done on an empty stomach. A higher intensity workout should really be done after eating a light meal of easy-to-digest carbohydrates and protein. Nutritional coaches say this helps provide energy for a good exercise session. Hydration is most important at this time, so drink water or water enhanced with electrolytes, before, during, and after exercise.

The Importance of Eating After Working Out

After exercising, refueling is the goal. If only light exercise was done, a normal, healthy meal will suffice; however, the greater the intensity of the workout, the more important it is to refuel the body so muscles can repair and grow. Protein is of key importance in post-workout nutrition plans, as it provides the type of energy needed as opposed to carbohydrates, which provide energy to move the body. A good meal that includes 10 to 20 grams of protein, combined with some healthy carbohydrates, is a great way to feel less tired after a workout and give the body necessary nutrition to repair and improve itself.

When Should You Eat After Exercising?

It is good to eat within a couple hours after working out to provide the most benefit from health and fitness programs. At the same time, post-workout refueling should still be planned based on the next scheduled meal. If the next meal will not be for a few hours, eat something right away. If the next meal is within an hour or two, just eat a healthy, scheduled meal. Even after working out, unnecessary protein and calories add up to unneeded and unwanted excess.

What Should You Eat After Working Out?

A healthy diet includes lean protein, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates. A convenient post-workout snack, when lunch is around the corner, could be anything from a protein bar or shake, to a hard-boiled egg and some cheese. The type of protein does not matter, only that protein is consumed. If a meal is scheduled within an hour or two, include a regular portion of all three, including meats, fish, dairy and other sources of high quality protein, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.

Above all, understanding the best times to eat carbohydrates and proteins provides the best results from health and fitness programs. Nutrition plans, including adequate amounts of protein for post-exercise health, are beneficial. Of course, every person is different. Therefore, discussing a good before and after workout eating plan with nutrition coaching experts is recommended. To learn more about eating and exercise, and how they work together, talk to the diet and fitness professionals at your health and fitness center!

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