What's the best food to eat for sport and exercise?

What's the best food to eat for sport and exercise?

2 February 2018

If you are relatively inexperienced with sport and exercise but remain eager to put together a regime which can help you lose weight, you shouldn't underestimate how crucial it is to eat the right foods both before and after a workout session. Eating suitably can help you to consolidate and maximise your fitness gains; however, you might remain unsure exactly what you should eat before or after exercising. We can help you here...

Why should you eat both before and after exercising?

Contrary to a commonly-spread myth about fat loss, you shouldn't necessarily make a habit of exercising in the morning before eating any breakfast. Following this strategy might indeed burn more fat - but, sadly, probably from inside your muscle cells rather than beneath the skin, AskMen warns. Therefore, a safer option would be to eat shortly before you get a workout underway.

So, what about just after you have exercised? You should tuck in then, too. Nutritionist Fiona Tuck gave this explanation to The Huffington Post Australia: "Post workout nutrition provides fuel and nutrients for the body and helps prevent blood sugar lows and fatigue," adding: "The body needs nutrients to help with muscle recovery and cellular repair."

So, what food should you most consider?

Exactly which food you ought to eat can depend on various factors - including, you might not be surprised to learn, whether you are eating before or after working out.

For pre-workout eating, AskMen recommends sweet and spicy trail mix. The site has posted the full recipe, which requires a cup of raw unsalted nuts, a tablespoon of olive oil, a quarter-teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, cinnamon, sea salt and chilli powder, and a tablespoon of maple syrup.

Those nuts can supply you with the necessary calories and protein for packing on the muscle mass. However, once you have reached the end of a cardiovascular workout, you might want to consider instead one of the food options highlighted by The Huffington Post Australia...

Some worthwhile ideas for post-workout eating

Anna Debenham, a practising dietician, explains that - in the aftermath of cardio work like running or cycling - you should aim at "replenishing carbohydrate stores, and adequate hydration is essential". She particularly recommends "a slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter and banana. It's full of potassium which soothes muscles, high-quality carbs, protein and heart-healthy fats."

However, if you have instead been engaged in resistance or strength training with the aim of developing muscle, you should particularly intend to consume sufficient protein. Another dietician, Alexandra Parker, explains: "Smoothies are a great option and easy if you're on the run. Simply blitz the ingredients together in the blender the night before".

At Prestige Boot Camp, we have staff who run fitness boot camps on which you can learn even more about how to eat in a way conducive to meeting fitness goals. We run boot camps in places including London, Devon, Wales, Spain and Portugal; our website details various camps currently on our schedule.