Eating right before and after exercise is just as important as exercising. The success of fat burning during exercise depends a lot on what and when you ate before exercise. And fasting before exercise is not only unhealthy, but also harmful.
If you’re going to get up early and do a little exercise or run before work, you don’t have time to digest a hearty breakfast. Your breakfast should be light – an apple, a small banana, or a glass of yogurt no later than 20 minutes before your workout. But do not skip breakfast in any way – when you sleep, your metabolism slows down and does not “wake up” until you eat. Therefore, if you skip breakfast, your body will burn far fewer calories during exercise than it would if you had breakfast. If you play sports in the afternoon, a not very hearty lunch will give energy to your workout about an hour and a half before training.
The general rule of thumb is that the less time left before training, the lighter your meal should be. Your main pre-workout meal should be either protein-based and low-fat, mostly low to moderately digestible carbohydrates (complex carbohydrates), or a combination of protein and complex carbohydrates, but no more than 250 calories. The digestive system requires more energy to digest proteins than it does to digest fats or, for example, starch, so it burns more calories.
Avoid eating high-calorie, high-sugar foods before exercise.
Such food quickly saturates and is quickly absorbed. But the glucose in it raises blood sugar too quickly. This level drops just as quickly, leaving an acute feeling of hunger and fatigue. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide a slow, stable flow of glucose into the bloodstream, which supports long and productive work of the muscles and heart. Complex carbohydrates are found in fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Drink non-carbonated mineral water or unsweetened green tea during your workout. It is imperative to drink – in a dehydrated body, the metabolism slows down sharply. Green tea not only helps fight carcinogens, it also has the ability to speed up metabolism. According to research, people who drink green tea 3 times a day increase their metabolism by 4%.
When these conditions are met, the burning of stored fat during exercise will be optimal.
Just as important is what you eat after exercise. Needless to say, if you buy yourself a serving of ice cream on your way home from the gym, then all your efforts are almost immediately nullified. Metabolism remains elevated two hours after training, warmed up muscles simply require fuel, and if they do not find it, they continue to burn fat reserves. This opens up a so-called “window of opportunity” for you, that is, by taking the right food an hour or two after exercise, you will help the body accumulate muscle mass instead of fat mass.
The first thing your body needs after exercise is amino acids, a
protein building material for muscles, bones, hormones, nerves, etc. Increased physical activity depletes the reserve of essential amino acids, and you must replenish it. This includes meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or, at worst, vegetable proteins (soy or wheat).
The second thing your body needs is some complex proteins to make up for the glycogen deficiency in the liver. Glycogen is a form of sugar. In total, the liver can store up to 1,800 calories of sugar in the form of glycogen. These reserves are enough to run a marathon distance. But the body works best with full glycogen stores, so just in case a little carbs after exercise won’t hurt.