What to eat before and after a workout?
Many have heard the axiom “No pain, no gain”, but this should not be applied to any pain that can be prevented. It is very important to stretch and warm up before a workout and cool down after. Also, controlled breathing can ease any respiratory difficulties. These aren’t the only problems to be considered, however.
Eating, physiologically speaking, is like putting fuel in your gas tank. One pays careful attention not to introduce diesel into a gasoline engine but, strangely, many do not have the sense to do the same with their bodies. There are three basic food types: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. While experts recommend a healthy mix of the three, many tend to indulge in carbohydrate rich foods like bread, potatoes, and cakes but neglect protein rich foods like fish, soy products, and eggs. Even body builders, who definitely know better, tend to derive much of their protein from supplements and continue to indulge in carbohydrate rich foods.
Interestingly, though carbohydrates are necessary for the health of the body, in large quantities is leads to many health related problems such as obesity and, consequently, hypertension, diabetes, and increased risk of stroke. Through a process known as gluconeogenesis the body is capable of synthesizing glucose from protein.
There is no such process for creating several amino acids contained in protein. Without these essential amino acids, namely Pyrrolysine and Selenocysteine, the body does not have what it needs to function properly.
It must be noted that muscle is composed of protein. When an individual “works out” effectively muscle fibers become damaged, protein is used to repair the muscle, and the muscle becomes stronger.
For these reasons, it is important to incorporate plenty of protein into one’s diet after a workout. Many who take part in anaerobic exercise complete their workout with a protein rich food such as peanut butter, tuna fish, eggs, etc and a great deal of water. Incorporating carbohydrates and fats are important for balance but the emphasis after a workout should be protein.
Before a workout, however, it can be a good idea to consume carbohydrates as a means of gaining almost immediate access to all the energy in the food for the workout. Simple carbohydrates such as sugar, potatoes, and white bread are good for a quick release of energy, followed by a spike in insulin levels. Complex carbohydrates are preferred, however, due to their tendency to release energy steadily over a period.
M. M. Wagner writes for http://www.ellipticalmachines.net her hobby blog she uses to write about Schwinn elliptical machine and home fitness tips to help people prevent heart diseases.
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