Exercise & nutrition play complementary roles in achieving overall fitness for an individual. This is the reason why its important to include a proper pre & post workout meal prior to & after any exercise regime respectively.
Importance & Composition of Pre-workout meal
Pre workout nutrition is equally important to make the body endure long hours of workout. Nutrition bars were initially designed for athletes as a compact healthy workout meal. It has been found through research studies that skipping a pre workout meal & exercising on an empty stomach, pulls us back in performing our best through the workout. Also, we tend to feel lethargic & fatigue may set in, midway through the workout.
During the process of loosing fat, we may also lose muscle mass since the body utilizes these two sources of fats & proteins for energy utilization, in absence of carbohydrates. Proteins may be mobilized in the body by breaking down muscle mass, which is not a good sign if we need to lose weight or build muscle mass. This is reason why we need to supply our body with good amount of carbohydrates before any workout so that essential proteins are not lost for energy production.
Studies have shown that a good pre-workout meal should be composed of both carbs as well as proteins. If the meal is had 2-3 hours before the workout, it should contain more of complex carbs which shall be absorbed, whereas 1 hr before the workout, meal should contain more of simple carbs. Nutrition bars containing dried fruits such as raisins, dates, cranberries can be a good source of simple carbs. Proteins in pre workout meal is to compensate for any protein loss during the course of workout. Nutrition bars containing whey or casein or soya concentrate, chia, sunflower or flax seeds can provide good amount of proteins as well as fats.
Importance & Composition of Post-workout meal
Post workout nutrition becomes essential to replenish the depleted glycogen stores in the body, which the body breaks down during the workout process, to gain glucose for energy. It hence becomes necessary to provide the body with adequate amount of simple as well as complex carbs, post workout as well.
Simple carbs with easily bioavailable good quality protein needs to be consumed within half an hour after completing the workout. This helps for muscle recovery & helps facilitate muscle protein synthesis. A good complete meal can be had after 1-2 hrs of a workout. The whole meal can have complex carbs as well as normal proteins.
Nutrition bars containing honey or maple syrup along with whey or pea protein isolate can be had immediately after completing the workout. Nutrition bars of varied compositions can be chosen based on the intensity as well as duration of the workout. But, they are the most feasible & compact workout meal which are available.