We all know we need to eat well and exercise to enjoy great health and well-being. Yet, what about eating right while exercising? How important is pre- and post- workout nutrition?

Tuomas Lyons, one of the Personal Trainers at David Lloyd Aberdeen provides some pointers…

Pre-exercise nutrition can make a big difference to performance. The aim of pre-exercise nutrition is to help maintain energy levels throughout the session, keep your body hydrated, speed up recovery post workout and help preserve muscle mass.

Eat one well balanced meal 2-3 hours before your session, or 2-3 smaller meals 1-2 hours before your session. If you’re pushed for time, meal replacement shakes or bars are an option.

Ideally you should eat a mix of complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, pasta, rice and vegetables. Chicken, beef, fish, legumes and dairy are good protein choices, while oils, nuts and seeds are a great way to get your fat requirements. If you must eat just before your workout, opt for a smoothie or fruit with yoghurt.

Post-workout nutrition should stimulate recovery, re-hydrate, promote muscle growth, and improve future workouts.

Look to eat within an hour of working out. Simple and complex carbohydrates are important to replenish lost energy stores. A good quality protein is necessary to help with repairing muscle and for growth of new muscle, while good quality fats are necessary to complete the body’s need for a full complement of nutrients.

Calorie intake will depend on each individual and their goals. An easy guide would be to make 40% of your daily intake from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, 30% from fat and importantly you should aim for around 30 grams of fibre per day.

Provided you eat regularly and healthily, before and after exercise then there is probably no need for anything more.

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