Picking The Right Foods To Fuel Your Workouts

African American woman with apple and exercise ballDiet and exercise truly go hand in hand. You can lift all the weights you want, but you need the proper nutrition to build strong muscle. Likewise, even if you sweat it out on the regular, those pounds won’t really start to melt until you rework your diet. In general, to get the most out of all your hard work in the gym, your diet may need a makeover for the payoff you want. Keep reading to see how you should eat based on your workout style.

Workout Style: Yoga & Pilates

If workouts like yoga and pilates are your go-to, you’ll need meals that pack a lot in fewer calories. Although yoga and pilates are excellent strength-building workouts, you won’t be burning calories as rapidly as you might in a more intense workout. Thus, it is best to avoid meals that are too dense and harder to burn off in a yoga class. Try to eat 4-5 small meals throughout the day of about 300 calories so that you don’t feel over stuffed, but you won’t be ravenous for your next workout.

Believe it or not, you can even choose foods that aid in flexibility. Juicy fruits like grapes and oranges are high in water content and help to flush your system of waste, making movement a bit easier. You can also munch on leafy greens for a similar effect and to stop inflammation which can cause stiffness in your joints.

Workout Style: Distance Running, Walking or Biking

If your workout consists of getting in some serious miles, then your diet has to give you plenty of energy to survive and thrive through your workout. Whether you’re walking, running, or biking for hours on end, be sure to give your body a few extra calories for energy. During your off days, stick to lighter meals that include slow-digesting carbs like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and black beans. And of course, be sure to get a healthy serving of protein to protect your muscles and bones from wear and tear caused from distance training. Look for lean proteins like chicken, tofu, and fish that won’t slow you down, but will help your body repair itself after a long workout.