What to Eat Before and After a Workout

Food is a very important part of anyone’s day. It gives you energy, keeps you going, and gives you the boost you need to complete every task. Plus, it’s delicious.

But what should you be eating before and after you head to boot camp? Here are some tips.

Let’s start with a story, because stories always help put things in context. We have a person that, on the day of their first Fit Body Boot Camp experience did not eat the right things. So, there they were doing their first boot camp with greasy food in their stomach.

We’re sure you can guess, but it was awful.

They later explained that they felt light-headed, queasy and fatigued, and not in a hard work out way. It was not the best introduction back into the fitness world.

The moral of this is don’t do what they did. Always eat a nutritious meal before you work out. Below we’ll go over some of the reasons you shouldn’t do what I did and what fuel you should put in your body.

Why You Should Eat

There are some myths going around that if you don’t eat before working out that you will burn more fat. This is not true.

The truth is that when you work out your body wants to burn energy so it can keep up. If you have no food to fuel you then your body goes for whatever protein it can find.

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Guess what it feasts on? Your muscles! The whole point of this is that you want to gain muscle and lose fat, but by not eating, you actually end up harming yourself.

Your body needs sugar to exercise; it’s like a car and gasoline. You wouldn’t drive a car with an empty gas tank, why would you work out a body with no fuel? When you don’t eat, you open your body up to harm. You may get dizzy, and even pass out, plus you can’t work out as intensely as you’d like to.

Bottom line: eat before you head to boot camp today.

What Should You Eat

Typically you should eat about 45 minutes to an hour before a work out. This way your body has enough time to process the food and begin converting it to energy, thus avoiding any cramping you can experience from eating too soon before exercise.

When it comes to content, it’s good to load up on carbs, protein and fluids.

Carbs, such as cereals, pasta, rice, fruits and veggies are great for quick energy. They give you an immediate boost that gets you started for an amazing workout. Protein is then used for more long-term exercise once that initial rush has burnt out. Muscles and blood cells count on protein to help carry oxygen to the muscles so that you don’t hurt yourself.

Make sure to avoid any fried foods, greasy burgers, sodas and similar if you’re planning to head to boot camp or the gym. These foods sit heavy in your stomach and don’t give you all of the energy you need to keep going. Also avoid trying any new foods; your body will appreciate a chance to decide if it can digest new things without the added pressure of trying to burn it into energy for you.

A Note on Fluids

And, of course, plenty of fluids are very helpful before and during a work out. Try to drink at least 2 glasses of water about 2 hours beforehand. 

Sports drinks are not something you have to have for every workout, either. It’s best toDumbells, tape measure and healthy food over wooden table stick to plain water before and after to replenish your supply. During a work out the answer varies.

If you are planning to work out for 60 minutes or more in a humid environment, or if you’re an athlete competing in a competitive sport, then sports drinks are the way to go so you can give your body more sugar to work off of. This is also true if you sweat a lot while exercising. For something like Fit Body Boot Camp, where sessions only run 30 minutes, you can just take your reliable water bottle with you.

The Post-Exercise Plan

So, you’ve now completed your work out. You’re sore, happy and tired. Don’t think this is over yet!

First of all, you need to replenish your fluids by drinking plenty of water or chocolate milk. Chocolate milk is something of a big movement recently in the fitness industry; it contains a lot of the things your body needs to recover from a good work out. Carbs, protein, fluids, calcium and sugar are all found in a good glass of chocolate milk, so make sure to drink some after your next boot camp.

Some food options include chicken, vegetables and salmon. All of these are high in protein and will keep your muscles strong by providing something for your body to work with. This is especially important with Fit Body Boot Camp since our work outs trigger the Afterburn effect and your body will continue to burn calories long after you’ve stopped exercising.

The bottom line is that it is very important to eat well before and after working out. If you don’t fuel your body properly, you can end up hurting yourself and setting yourself back rather than pushing yourself forward. Take care of your body so it can continue to take care of you.