Eating and Exercising

Eating and Exercising, Ying and Yang, you and I, these are things that are nothing without each other. 

The core components of fitness are,

  • What you eat 
  • The quality of your exercise. 

I.e. Eating and Exercising. In this blog post, you will know how closely related these two components are.

There are three major times you eat in relation to  exercise these are,

  • Before exercise
  • During exercise
  • After exercise

Before we start if the word “supplements” crossed your mind click the link to know more.

Eating and Exercising: before exercise

You should eat before exercising to provide energy (calories) and adequate hydration for your workout.

Depending on your goal, while exercising in the morning you can skip your breakfast provided you had a good dinner your body has glycogen stores ready for use within 90 mins of your Morning workout. Your body can store up to 2000 calories.

For weight loss, skipping breakfast before exercising is known as fasted cardio. 

  • It helps your body use calories better, (read benefits of morning workout)
  • Helps to lower your blood sugar level.

Here is how it works, if you want to lose weight it means you have an ample deposit of energy available (yes I call fat energy), by skipping your breakfast, you force your body to use the stored glycogen first and then after your fat deposits as a source of energy. 

When working out in the afternoon make sure you eat before you exercise  and drink enough water for sufficient energy and hydration.

On the other side of the spectrum if,

  • Gaining muscles 
  • Bodybuilding  
  • Working out at a high intensity

Are your goals you need the extra calories your breakfast/lunch will give you.

Considering the number of hours you have before your workout you can tweak what you eat for optimal result.

Less than 1 hr. 

Take mostly carbs, fruits or bite-sized snacks because these are easily digested and absorbed.

Within this window of time this is all you can manage without causing stomach troubles for yourself.

  • Drink fluids, water is enough for hydration take a glass of water
  • Don’t overeat, a slice of bread is okay.

1-3 hours

You can eat carbs, proteins and fruits. Eating protein 2 hrs before your workout gives enough time to break down the food and you flood your system amino acids waiting to repair and rebuild damaged cells.

  • Also, drink 1-2 glasses of water for proper hydration.

Eating and exercising: during exercise

Eating during exercise is for a selected few, if

  • You are not working out for more than 3hrs
  • Exercising at a high intensity
  • Endurance athlete
  • Elite bodybuilder

You should avoid meals in-between your sessions or risk throwing up. 

For high-intensity exercises lasting longer than 3hrs you can replenish your energy levels by taking a bite of a high caloric snack e.g. bananas, chocolate bars or an energy drink, this will give you extra energy to continue. 

Eat only if you must.

When you exercise blood flow is redirected from your visceral to your muscles, so eating heavy while exercising will lead to indigestion and eventually throwing up.

Hydration is a major part of exercising, it determines your performance.

Based on the environment and your workout intensity, water should be enough, don’t just gulp it down like a camel, take regular sips. 

It helps your body retains a good amount of fluid. 

Water is sufficient for low to a moderate intensity at a degree lower than room temperature with proper ventilation.

For my gym bros working out under harsh weather and or at a high intensity, get a sports drink because you need to replace lost electrolytes, and drinking water won’t be enough you need a drink that contains the electrolytes you lost during your workout.

In some cases you need to spit not swallow, absorption of crabs starts in the mouth, and for long-distance runners who don’t have the time to stop and drink just rinsing their mouths with sports drink is adequate.

After exercise

Post exercise, one thing should be on your mind.. replenishing your depleted reserves, particularly if you skipped your meal (fasted cardio) You lost calories and vital electrolytes during your workout, now you are at your payback phase. 

(Need a doctor’s advice for any fitness related injuries? click here)

Try eating a diet high in protein, moderate in carbs, fat, vitamins and the necessary nutrients.

A lot of Carbs will replenish your energy levels faster, especially when you need to recover for another session in a short also gives you the strenght to continue your day.

A high Protein diet,

  • Repairs and builds your muscle, 
  • Prevents breakdown of your precious gains,
  • Helps your recovery rate.

Fats give you more energy.

It is crucial to eat before your body starts breaking down your muscles ultimately stealing your gains usually within 2 hrs.

In summary 

Eating and exercising are the main pillars of fitness, Eating provides you with energy and exercising makes the most of that energy.