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What to Eat Before & After You Work Out

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02.13.15
 

Working out? Good for you! But you've gotta make sure you're properly fueled... and not overly stuffed or negating your calorie burn. Here's some need-to-know info plus top-notch snack suggestions!

 
  Before a Workout…

If you're going to turn up the burn, you better have some fuel in that tank, a.k.a. your body. There's a myth that exercising on an empty stomach will torch more calories and fat, but experts say NOPE -- if you don't have glucose in your system, you risk burning muscle. So eat something small but nutritious about an hour before you exercise. Have a combination of lean protein, quality carbs, and a bit of healthy fats. And really watch your portions! You don't want to feel bogged down...

 
  Easy Recipes for Pre-Workout Snacks  
  Pre-Workout Snack Finds  
  After a Workout…

High five, rock star -- way to kick that workout's butt! Now it's time to give your body what it needs to properly recover. Exercise pros say to give yourself some cool-down time -- at least 15 minutes -- but to eat within two hours to refuel. Again, we're looking at healthy carbs and lean protein. Warning: Don't make the mistake of thinking, "I just burned a bunch of calories, and now I can eat whatever I want!" Do you really want to cancel out that hard work you just did? Have a smart snack. If it's closer to mealtime, prepare a healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

 
  Easy Recipes for Post-Workout Snacks  
  Post-Workout Meal Recipes  
  Don't Forget Fluids...

* Water is wildly important when it comes to physical activity. Drink lots of it -- before, during, and after!

* "What about sports drinks?" If you really sweat up a storm and are concerned about nutrient depletion, sure. (Check the stats, and make sure that the drink isn’t loaded with calories.) But we'd recommend water paired with a banana for potassium. Coconut water is good too, but have it in addition to regular water, not in its place.

* Don't use fruit juices and other sugary drinks to quench that thirst. You're much better off having water with one of the aforementioned snacks.

* Trend alert: Chocolate milk is being regarded as the hot new recovery drink. Weird, huh? If you want to give it a shot, we suggest whisking a couple of tablespoons of chocolate protein powder (like the kind by Quest) into 8 ounces of fat-free milk. Then switch back to that H2O.

 

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CHEW ON THIS:

It's Fiber Friday (the second Friday in February), a holiday that we made up back in 2010. One of the easiest ways to get natural fiber into your diet? Broccoli cole slaw!

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.



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