Healthy body requires proper nutrition and physical activity. You won’t achieve much if you are not eating properly and healthy, regardless how many hours you have spent in the gym.
Light meal before your exercise will definitively be your best choice. Eating too much is not good for your health, plus you won’t be able to work efficiently with a full stomach. Your circulation will be focused on digesting and not on your muscles so you could end up being nauseous. Some people can experience muscle cramps as direct consequence of eating too much before their training.
However, you must be aware of the fact that too little food before the workout is also bad. You need energy to practice and you must eat something. Low blood sugar will make you feel extremely weak and you won’t have energy to train at your maximum.
Many professionals recommend eating 2 hours before the training. This meal should contain plenty of carbohydrates, but not fat or proteins. Avoid eating food rich in fibers, meat, snacks such as potato chips or sweets (doughnuts and similar) before the training, for these won’t make you feel energized during the practice. If you are feeling very hungry and your training is just about to start you can eat a fruit. Another option is to use a pre-workout sport drink.
Water is the best thing you can take just after you have finished your workout. After that you can take some of the post-workout foods, but drinking sufficient amount of water is extremely important. You need to compensate lack of water during your training and for that, many professional trainers recommend drinking water every 15 minutes during the practice and after the workout too.
After workout you should eat a meal containing proteins and carbohydrates, but no fats. To get the best results, this meal should be eaten in 2 hours after the workout or it won’t have any positive effects on your body.
Taken carbohydrates will help building the glycogen stores and you need that to be able to exercise properly. So, you can eat the food such as: brown bread, brown rice, bran, cornmeal, maize, barley, buckwheat, but also some wholegrain cereals, peas, beans, lentils, corn, yam, muesli, bagel pita bread, potatoes or some root vegetables. All of the listed food contains complex carbohydrates and is good after the workout.
Proteins are required for re-building of your muscles, so you should eat: fish, roasted chicken or beef, bacon, cheddar cheese, tofu, soy milk or low fat yogurt to provide plenty of proteins after the workout.