We all know that exercising right goes hand in hand with eating right. But did you know that there are foods which can actually enhance your workout? I often get asked by you all about what types of food I eat to to optimize my workouts so I decide to dedicate a piece specifically on ‘power foods’.
Ok, so various foods impact our workout in different ways. Choosing easily digestible, protein-rich and fibre-rich foods are the first step. To help you sift through the myriad of available options, I’ve line up 5 easily accessible options that are a must to accompany my workout regime.
- Fresh fruit provides an instant sugar boost and are loaded with good carbohydrates, vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre. Most importantly, they are hydrating. To enhance your workout, choose bananas (they’re potassium rich), apples (vitamin-rich) and grapes (glucose and simple sugars) over fruits from the citrus family which are harder to digest.
- Oatmeal is a great source of glucose and help the body burn fat faster. I have oats at least 3 hours before a workout to ensure aslow release of glucose, helping to keep energy levels even throughout the workout. Whole-grain bread or pasta which are complex carbs, also provide the same functions. At least 65-70% of a pre-workout meal is best had from carbs.
- Chicken, eggs and fish contain adequate stores of protein. Best consumed within one hour post-workout, as the body yearns to replenish its lost energy and re-build muscles. The amino-acids in these foods ensure that muscles grow back stronger. A hard-boiled egg is a great pre or post-workout snack. Packs a punch at 70 cal per egg. Tip: Make sure to have at least 20gms of protein post workout (equivalent of 2 eggs and a glass of milk). Protein shakes, low-fat yoghurt or smoothies are a simpler option to a large meal and can be finished in a few gulps.
- Walnuts have the most amount of omega 3 essential-fats which is anti-inflammatory and boosts metabolism, compared to other nuts. Preferably had post-workout since having fats before a workout can slow a person down. A handful of these nuts is good to have in the one hour following a workout.
- Substitute water or green tea (rich in antioxidants) for alcohol, soda or artificially sweetened drinks. This keeps you from drinking calories and instead focuses on hydrating the body. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses in a day and ensure you stay hydrated during the workout as well.
Incorporate these simple, readily available foods into your day to change your life and enhance your health. I swear by them and have been following this regime throughout my professional career.
If you have any questions then please drop me a line or comment on this piece and I’ll get back to you. Also, if you have your own tips, then please share – variety is the spice of life.
Break a sweat!