What To Eat Before And After Your Workout To Maximize Fat Loss - With Thomas DeLauer
Three essential pre-workout snacks
Heading into a workout with a growling stomach isn't the foundation of a good session, and forcing food down your gullet that makes you grimace is no way to live. With this in mind, we've selected three pre-workout snacks with vastly differing flavours – so you can choose a last-minute energy booster that primes you for your workoutandputs a smile on your face.
Because that smile's important. How you're feeling when you amble over to those free weights can directly influence how many – and how much – you can shift. "Improved mood can boost your training performance through switching on reward centres in the brain," says Alan Aragon, author ofGirth Control: The Science of Fat Loss and Muscle Gain. Hit the gym with a grin by munching on one of these three tasty options.
30 minutes to go
Peanut butter on apple
A questionable pairing at first glance, certainly. But many gym vets – and in-the-know couch potatoes, too – swear by it. Palate-pleasing benefits aside, this unlikely duo is also fantastic fuel for your gym session. "You get a good mix of natural sugars, plus the protein and good fats from the peanut butter lower the snack's GI," says registered nutritionist Carina Norris. Which means a slower release of sugars into your bloodstream. Which means you can keep going harder for longer. A peanut butter apple a day does much more than keep the doctor away.
BonusPeanut butter is rich in Vitamin E, which helps block the RSK proteins in your body that can cause liver cirrhosis, according to research from the University of Virginia. Spread it on thick to reverse the damage inflicted by boozy weekends.
15 minutes to go
Chocolate milk and a banana
As well as inducing fuzzy nostalgia for primary school packed lunches, chocolate milk and a banana will have you storming through gym sessions at the intensity of a playground kickabout. "Milk contains one of the highest-quality sources of protein in nature – a combination of casein and whey," says Alan Aragon, author ofGirth Control: The Science of Fat Loss and Muscle Gain. Moreover, bananas and milk both contain carbs that support the liver glycogen and muscle glycogen depots mined during training. "These carbs improve endurance and anabolic drive – both of which make for better workouts," says Aragon. Best save the jammy dodgers and crisps for cheat days, though.
BonusA recent study published in theInternal Journal of Cancerfound eating several bananas each week cuts your risk of developing kidney cancer by 50%.
5 minutes to go
Dried fruit, berries and grapes
The less time you have before your workout, the more carb – and less protein – you should snaffle. Protein intake too close to a workout may lead to stomach cramps and indigestion. A handful of dried fruit provides simple carbs (digested in the small intestine, rather than the stomach) that offer instant energy, while berries – go for anything brightly coloured – deliver an energy boost and fight oxidative stress during a workout thanks to their high ORAC score. Throw in some grapes to complete the fruity medley. "The skin of grapes helps boost the body's nitric oxide level, expanding blood vessels for a better workout," says six-timeMen's Healthcover model Olly Foster.
Video: 3 Healthy Snacks | What to Eat Pre & Post Workout
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