Many people dedicate the midday hours to physical activity, either because of their work schedule, or simply because they prefer this time of the day. As with exercising at any other time close to meal times, it is very important to eat the right foods in order to avoid sensations of fullness before, during, or after the workout session.
If you decide to exercise before eating, it is important that not too many hours have passed since your last meal. Otherwise, you will be at a greater risk of feeling fatigued, and therefore get less out of your workout. This happens especially when the body uses up all of the energy that the body has stored in the muscle after eating. It is advisable to have a healthy but light (around 100-200 calories) snack in the morning, or even right before you begin your workout. A piece fruit, container of lowfat yogurt, crackers, or an energy bar, are all good options.
When you work out after eating, try to leave a two-hour period between your last meal and the exercise session to avoid feeling a full or weighted down sensation. If it isn’t possible to wait, try to select activities that don’t require very intense movements, such as rowing, aerobic steps, rhythmic walking, or muscle-building exercises.
Make sure the meals you have before exercising are relatively light. Try to avoid consuming too much liquid, such as soups, stocks, or creams, and choose foods with a doughy consistency. The best meals for prior to exercise should include complex carbohydrates, which are slowly absorbed by the body, such as rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, semolina, and whole wheat cereals. Also, add a source of protein to your main meal.
An example of a menu for this type of meal could be: chicken and egg salad, a piece of fruit, yogurt, a slice of whole wheat bread, and a glass of water.
Remember it is always very important to stay well hydrated before, during, and after exercise.
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