Summer is around the corner and people are hitting the gym for the ultimate beach bod in preparation for the holidays.
There are some precautions you need to take if you are to the most gains out of your gym sessions. You need to be warmed up before starting your weightlifting sessions and pay more attention to form to avoid injuries. You are better off lifting lighter weights with the correct form than heavy weights with poor forms that hurt your muscles and body.
Nutrition goes hand in hand with exercise. Working out is not a gate pass to unhealthy eating habits. If anything, you should be more mindful about what you eat if you want to get shredded in time for the summer. You need to have a healthy balanced diet to provide you with sufficient energy for your workout sessions and help with your recovery post-workout.
Unless you are a professional meal, a normal eating plan is often sufficient to provide you with the energy you need for your workout sessions.
Do not however workout when you are famished since you will not only feel dizzy and tired but your body will also break down your muscle proteins to provide for energy. This in turn negates the gains you have made thus far.
Your pre-workout nutrition should have a mix of simple carbohydrates and proteins because they are easily digested and won’t leave feeling sluggish at the gym.
Stay well hydrated and have a healthy snack like a banana for the optimal performance during your workouts.
More importantly, time your pre-workout meals not less than an hour to your workout session.
What you eat after your workout session is as important as the exercises themselves. Working hard at the gym is not an excuse to stuff yourself with a bag of fries immediately thereafter.
While the body needs to replace the energy lost during your workouts, do not overcompensate by consuming more calories than you have burned. Overcompensating for the energy burned at the gym is counterproductive and will leave you gaining weight instead of losing it.
It is important to have a mix of carbs to replenish your glycogen stores which are used up while working out and proteins to help build muscles. A post-workout meal should be taken within 30 minutes after a workout since the body is hungry and most receptive of nutrients during this period.
What to Eat
Greek Yogurt and banana: Greek yoghurt has double the protein content of regular yoghurt and is also rich in carbohydrates. Bananas are full of potassium which is important for electrolyte regulation especially after a sweaty gym session and is also a healthy Dopamine Booster.
Chicken sandwich: This meal has a perfect balance of proteins and carbohydrates – just what you need after a tiring strength training session.
Protein shakes: Protein shakes are great liquid recovery meal for when you don’t have time for an elaborate meal. This is a stopgap measure as you wait for a proper meal.
Fruit salad: A fruit salad with a little bit of everything will help you recover from your gym sessions as well as replenish the minerals that were lost through sweating. Pineapple helps prevent your muscles from becoming sore.