Have you ever had weeks where you have trained consistently and been your absolute best but you are unable to see the results and you still have that muscle soreness that should have disappeared a while ago? Well, we’ve all been there. In an attempt to look our best in a short span of time we have all tried to skimp on our calories and our carbs hoping that it will deliver results faster. However, this is a terrible mistake that ends up wreaking havoc on your metabolism and does more harm than good. Your body is like a well oiled machine and it needs to be serviced at regular intervals in order to work optimally. Without food or fuel, the body is unable to perform and deliver the results you’ve been waiting for.
I have always maintained that diet is extremely crucial in promoting longevity, staying fit and maintain a lean body. No amount of exercise can outweigh the benefits of a healthy diet and I know some of you might disagree for now but you can’t outrun a bad diet. It will show on you one day or another in your skin, face and eventually on your body.
Our bodies expend a lot of calories during exercise whether it is resistance training, cardio, body weight training or a sport like football. You lose a lot of fluid, valuable electrolytes and end up tearing muscle fiber that needs time and nutrition to heal and recover to yield results. A solid pre and post nutrition plan that is balanced can alleviate delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), fatigue and prevent injury.
Pre workout snack options shouldn’t be too heavy because it becomes too difficult to workout when you are too full. If you are lactose intolerant, avoid any milk or dairy based whey protein or anything with a dairy derivative as it will cause cramping, gas and gastric distress. Ideally, a pre workout snack should be consumed 30-60 minutes prior to workout to yield good results. A good pre workout snack should be able to serve multiple purposes of hydrating the body, boost metabolism, speed up muscle recovery and provide sustained energy release like slow digesting carbs. They should be ideally a mix of slow digesting carbohydrates (low GI) with a good protein source. Some people recommend caffeine very highly as they believe that a cup of joe helps promote alertness and boost their metabolism. If you are otherwise jittery or prone to palpitations, avoid the coffee right before a cardio workout. Here are six pre-workout snack solutions:
- Almond butter and apple slices
- Boiled eggs
- Oats with peanut or almond butter
- A banana with a tbsp of nut butter
- A fruit and some cheese or cottage cheese
Post workout snack options are easier because your body needs to refuel and you need a calorific snack to help with muscle growth and recovery and prevent muscle soreness. You should ideally consume a high protein source with some healthy fats and carbs within two hours of your workout to see results. Here are six post-workout snack solutions:
- Protein shake
- Boiled eggs on a toast
- Oatmeal and milk
- Tuna and rice crackers
- Chocolate milk or a banana milkshake
- A banana and a cup of coffee
Disclaimer – these snack solutions are samples for an otherwise fit individual but the quantity and your macros depend on the intensity of your workout and your goals.