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What to Eat Before & After You Workout

By eHealthIQ
Reviewed: February 25, 2015

If you’re serious about trying to lose weight, diet and nutrition go hand-in-hand. You shouldn’t lower your caloric intake without starting an exercise routine to supplement it; likewise, you shouldn’t hop on a treadmill without any thought to your meals before and after the fact. Here are just a few foods to combine with your workouts for maximum weight loss.

Before You Work Out

– Whole-wheat toast. Carbohydrates are critical for a long workout, and whole-wheat toast will give you complex carbs and a good crunch.

– Apples. They’re packed with antioxidants to keep you strong while you lift, and they’ll also keep the doctor away!

– Brown rice. Another excellent source of carbs, brown rice will release a steady stream of energy to your body during your fitness routine.

– Trail mix. Not only is it fun to eat, but between the nuts, dried fruit and occasional m&m, you’ll keep your energy up and your insulin levels stable.

– Cinnamon. Put it in your tea; sprinkle it on your toast; add a pinch to your cereal. It helps regulate blood flow and glucose levels.

– Bananas. They’re a great source of potassium, which is something you lose when you sweat. Before you start pounding the pavement for your morning jog, inhale a banana to keep you going.

– Oatmeal. If you find yourself flagging during your typical workout, try eating a bowl of oatmeal first. It will stick to your ribs in a way that gives you energy throughout your entire routine.

– Smoothies. They’re quick and easy to make, and you can customize your blends with everything from fruit to yogurt to powdered proteins.

After You Work Out

Chocolate milk. The calcium will strengthen your bones; the sugar will give you energy for round two.

– Chicken. Lean chicken breasts are the BFFs of fitness junkies everywhere, but they’re especially great after a workout to fill you up without making you feel bloated.

– Eggs. Yes, it turns out that pretty much all breakfast foods are great for post-exercise munching! The protein in eggs is what you’re after; it will help muscle strength and recovery.

– Sweet potatoes. Insulin levels go haywire during a workout, but sweet potatoes can bring them back under control while also giving you a dose of complex carbs.

– Avocados. You don’t have to eat them plain; you can slice them up for a sandwich or omelet. The most important thing is getting their monosaturated fats in your body.

– Spinach. It will lower your blood pressure and help you regain your equilibrium after an intense bout of HIIT.

– Tuna. Low in calories and high in protein, a tuna sandwich is a great snack after your workout, especially if you combine it with whole-wheat bread and some of those avocados.

– Salmon. In addition to being a nice source of protein, salmon also offers “bioactive peptides,” which is a fancy phrase for small compounds that reduce inflammation. How’s that swollen ankle doing?

These are just a few of the best foods you can buy to build muscle, increase strength, boost stamina and lose body fat. Use this guide to restock your kitchen and help you cultivate a newer, better you!

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