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What to Eat Before and After a Workout

Food is the best fuel to help you reach your fitness goals. The foods you choose before and after your workout makes all the difference. My recommendation? Identify your goal. Plan accordingly. Keep it simple and sustainable. Always move with purpose!

What to eat.

Before. Complex carbohydrates help you feel fuller and fuel your body throughout the day. Incorporate lean protein and heart-healthy fats. The carbs improve endurance, and the protein supplies muscles with amino acids for repair and growth. Healthy options include:

  • Fruit and veggies
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat toast with jam and fig bars
  • Grilled chicken sandwich
  • Fish

After. This is when you need to replenish your energy and build muscle. Choose foods and snacks that fight post-workout inflammation and provide quality fat, potassium, fiber and magnesium. Good recovery options include:

  • Turkey sandwiches
  • Toast topped with nut butter and sliced banana
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Green tea
  • Seaweed
  • Broccoli

What to drink.

Hydration is very important because even losing 2% of your body weight in water can cause a drop in workout performance. A good rule of thumb is to drink roughly 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes when exercising. I recommend 64-96oz of water per day. Don’t drink more than 128oz because too much water lowers the body’s essential sodium.

What to avoid.

  • Pre-workout energy drinks are problematic as some of them make your heart work harder. Add exercise, and your heart can quickly become over-taxed. This can lead to a life-threatening situation.
  • Huge pre-workout meals can cause discomfort, heartburn and affect glucose and blood sugar control. This is especially important if you have reflux or diabetes.
  • Dangerous supplements. Pre-workout supplements like nitric oxide are extremely risky. They can negatively alter blood flow and oxygen levels and cause many other problems. Most have not been proven to be safe and effective, so don’t risk it.
  • Overdoing it. It’s all about balance and sustainability.

Partha’s Prescriptions for a successful exercise regimen

  • Strong start. A healthy breakfast helps prepare your body for exercise. Otherwise, you may feel lightheaded or lethargic during your workout.
  • Healthy choices. Choose nutritious snacks like bananas and nuts. They help maintain energy and nutrient levels.
  • Balance. Keep it simple. Make informed choices. Move with purpose every day!

Remember to make healthy living a part of everyday!

And as always, the light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.

Dr. Nandi

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