If you want to make the most out of your workout, there are some things you need to do apart from your workout routine. You need to adopt a holistic approach to take care of your body.
This in-depth guide will discuss some essential tips to help you achieve maximum results from your workouts. We will divide this article into three parts.
- Pre-workout nutrition
- During workout nutrition
- Post-workout nutrition
Without further ado, let’s talk about nutrition tips for maximum workout results.
Achieve Optimal Hydration Before Workout
The first and foremost pre-workout nutrition that you need is hydration. It is often neglected in our daily routines. We take water for granted.
But to maximize your workout, you should focus on proper hydration. This will help you improve your energy levels and exercise capacity.
Take Complex Carbohydrates before a Workout
Carbohydrates are our body’s primary source of energy. For high-intensity workouts, you need complex carbs that offer a sustained release of energy. This also helps prevent sugar crashes and rapid blood glucose spikes associated with simple sugars.
So, in the meal before your workouts, make sure that you incorporate carbs. For example, you can choose carbs such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and seat potatoes.
Increase Protein Intake Before Workout
Besides water and carbohydrates, you must also intake enough protein before your workout. While carbs provide direct energy, protein is essential for supporting muscle function and repair.
You can go for a protein smoothie or a bowl of Greek yogurt. You can also opt for lean meat, poultry, and eggs. Make sure you consume your Recommended Dietary Intake of protein according to your lifestyle but do not overdo it.
Avoid High-Fat and Fiber-Rich Foods Before Workout
If you plan a pre-workout meal, avoiding high-fat and fiber-rich foods is a good idea. They are essential to a healthy, balanced diet but can cause discomfort during workouts. This is because they slow digestion and lead to bloating and gas during the exercise.
So, avoiding fiber-rich foods such as beans and cruciferous vegetables is better. Instead, you can enjoy these foods in your other meals.
Now that we have discussed the essential components of your pre-workout diet let’s talk about nutrition during workouts.
During Workout Nutrition
Maintain your Hydration
One of the most essential tips for an efficient workout is to continue your fluids during your exercise. This is especially important for longer or intense workouts where you lose more water through sweat. So, if you are working out for more than one hour, make it your rule to sip water regularly.
If you plan a high-intensity workout, consider adding easily digestible carbs workout snacks. For example, you can go for fruit or sports drinks. This will help you maintain your energy levels.
Besides increasing your water intake for longer workouts, you should also take electrolyte-rich foods such as bananas or coconut water. You can also take a sports drink to help replenish electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. This will help you get rid of post-workout pains and cramps as well.
You might be thinking that we have already taken carbs before the workout; why do you need to take them again? The answer to this question is that you must replenish your glycogen stores. Glycogen is a storage form of glucose. It gets depleted during exercise and workouts. So, to ensure sustained energy for the rest of the day, you must take a good source of carbs.
As a rule of thumb, you can choose carbohydrates with moderate to high glycemic index. This will help in faster glycogen replenishment. For example, you can take brown rice, quinoa, and whole-grain bread. These foods will also offer you additional nutrients.
Apart from carbohydrates, you must add protein to your post-workout meal. This is the time when your body is growing and repairing its muscles. A great idea is to take a protein-rich snack or meal within half an hour of finishing your workout.
Whey protein is also an excellent choice for post-workout snacks. It is absorbed quickly and offers the best benefits. You can also add whey protein to your protein shake. This will give you a good combination of both carbohydrates and protein.
For a full, hearty meal, you can also opt for chicken, tofu, and beans that add protein to your diet.
Additional Tips for Nutrition to Get Maximum Workout Results
Take a Balanced Diet
Apart from the specific pre-, during, and post-workout nutrition recommendations, you should also focus on a balanced diet. Your meals should encompass a variety of nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Make sure that you take your fruits and vegetables.
Ensure Timely Nutrition
Another tip is to ensure proper meal timings. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. To make the most out of your nutrition, focus on smaller and balanced meals throughout the day. This will maintain your energy levels during the day.
Apart from your diet and nutrition, you should also take care of your nutrition. After a sweaty workout, it’s important to clean up properly to prevent the spread of germs. Placing an indoor doormat at the entrance of your gym or workout area can help trap dirt and debris, reducing the risk of tracking it into your home. Make sure that it is an anti-slip mat to prevent injuries during your workout.
Whole foods give you a foundation for your nutrition. Supplements help to supplement your diet. This will help in your overall fitness.
For example, you can take protein powder. This will supplement your protein foods and ensure adequate daily intake. This is also a good way of meeting your protein needs on a busy day.
Apart from that, you can also take Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). This supplement helps to ensure quicker muscle recovery and also reduces muscle soreness.
Use Recovery Drinks
Recovery drinks such as chocolate milk or sports drinks can also help ensure nutrient intake. This will ensure maximum workout results.
The next tip is based on the overall combinations in your diet. Aim for a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Such a post-workout meal will provide energy and support muscle synthesis, too.
Take Whole Foods
Apart from recovery drinks and supplements, it is also crucial to take whole foods. For example, you can take fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources for optimal nutrition.
Limit Processed Foods
Avoiding processed foods is also helpful in ensuring a well-balanced, healthy diet. Processed foods contribute to fatigue and inflammation in your body. This hinders your workout performance. For instance, you should minimize processed foods such as sugary drinks and unhealthy fats.
Listen to your Body
Another tip is to pay attention to your body. Keep an eye on your hunger and fullness cues.
Rest and Recovery
One final tip is to focus on your sleep and rest as well. It will ensure quicker recovery and improve your overall performance, too.
If you want to ensure maximum workout results, your nutrition is the key. With the right pre-workout, during-workout, and post-workout nutrition, you can tap into the benefits of exercise. You will be able to improve your energy levels and avoid post-workout tiredness.
Remember that there is no one-stop solution when it comes to nutrition. You should experiment with different foods and different strategies. Listen to your body. See which foods improve your energy levels. Then, experiment with other foods.