Nautical Nutrition: The Best Foods To Eat Before And After A Water Workout
We’ve all been scolded by our mothers not to jump into the pool for a full hour after eating. What we didn’t know back then was that we wouldn’t get cramps and drown. Imagine all the extra hours of playtime you missed out on! The good news is, now you can get it back, and with the best possible foods to fuel you through (and after) a water workout.
Believe it or not, your body does need some carbohydrates to stay healthy and get a quick boost of energy. That doesn’t mean white bread full of high-fructose corn syrup is the way to go before a workout. Opt for smaller portions of healthier carb-loaded foods, like half a cup of brown rice or a slice of whole grain toast. Make sure to include some protein along with them.
No matter what fruit you choose, be sure that it’s ripe so that your body can absorb all the necessary nutrients without having to deal with starchy, fibrous produce. Many people eat bananas before they’re ripe, so make sure that there are brown spots on the fruit before you eat it. Browned bananas indicate a higher level of conversion from starch to sugar, meaning that the fruit will be sweeter and easier to digest. Fruit-based smoothies are great pre- or post-workout foods, with a few tweaks. If you have a smoothie after your workout, focus more on protein by adding peanut butter, soy milk or protein powder. Another great addition to your post-workout smoothie is ground flaxseed or chia seeds, which add both protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Some people can’t handle large amounts of fiber, leading to bloating and potential cramps, so make sure to steam your vegetables so that your body can process them easier. For the same reason, avoid carb-and-fiber-heavy foods like beans before working out. Going back to the pre-workout smoothie, feel free to throw in some greens into your blender, like spinach or kale, to load up your body with vital nutrients. Looking for a great post-workout meal idea? Try making an egg-and-veggie scramble with spinach, steamed broccoli, garlic and bell peppers.
Lean Protein Foods
If you’re not avoiding meat or dairy as a dietary choice, make sure the varieties you eat give you the lean protein your muscles need. Lean meats include fish, lean red meat and chicken, and dairy like Greek yogurt or milk make for great recovery foods that can easily be incorporated into a smoothie.
Keep in mind that you should always talk to a doctor before making major changes to your diet and exercise routines to make sure your body is getting what it needs. But no more using the “wait an hour” excuse to skip workouts or avoid the pool, or your Wike-Up! Aquabike! Stay updated on the best ways to use your aquabike and how to stay fit by keeping up with our blog.