If you want to succeed in the gym, it is best if you start your journey in the kitchen. Scheduling meals and snacks around your fitness schedule can make a big difference in how you feel during a workout, and how much you benefit from it afterwards.
Before your workout, it’s best to eat a large meal at least a few hours before going to work out. Ideally, such meals should combine lean protein and plenty of carbohydrates. Depending on the time of day, meals might include rice, pasta, chicken, fish, peanut butter and other healthy foods.
You can have a high-carbohydrate snack or sports drink for energy within an hour or so of hitting the gym. Post-workout meals play as important a role as what you eat beforehand. The more immediately after working out you eat, the better.
Getting food into the body helps it recover from exertion. After strenuous exercise, the carbohydrates stored in the muscles and liver may be used up, and the protein making up the muscles are partially broken down. Those nutrients need to be replaced.
The total amount of food someone should eat can vary widely based on their size, goals and exercise routine.
The key is to find a balance so that you take in enough nutrients to replace energy and build muscle, but not so much that your body converts the extra to unwanted fat.