Eating and working out: useful advice for before, during and after working out

Eating something an hour before working out will help you during physical activity. But eating and hydrating yourself during and after working out is also important. Here is some useful advice.

What should you eat before working out?

Eating something an hour before working out will help you during the actual workout.
Ideally, you should choose fresh fruit, an energy gel or a sport drink.

About three to four hours before working out, on the contrary, you can eat something more substantial, like a plate of pasta with tomato sauce or lean meat with salad.
What should you avoid at all cost? Fatty or fried foods and alcohol.

What should you eat after working out?

In the 30-45 minutes after working out, especially if you have performed aerobic type or prolonged exercises, try to take in carbohydrates by eating them in solid form (fruit or specific bars) or drinking them in liquid form (fruit juice): this will help you to build back the reserves of glycogen you have consumed during your workout.

Protein bars can also be useful, but remember that your intake of protein must be at a ratio 1 to 4 against carbohydrates; it has in fact been proved that an excess of protein immediately after working out has a negative impact both on rehydration and restoring reserves of glycogen.

Hydration during workouts

Drink at least three glasses of water during the 2-3 hours previous to working out and one glass of water every 10-15 minutes after the end of your workout for one hour.
Sport drinks are useful if your workout lasts over 60 minutes and the intensity is high.
During very long workouts, drinking a sport drink during the workout may help to increase the length of the workout.