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What should you eat before a workout?
Abhilasha Ojha
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January 10, 2007

Planning to include an exercise schedule in your to-do list of things? Good.

Now comes the tough part. What should you include in a workout session? Ideally, exercises should be instrumental in building up your stamina and toning your body.

And what should you eat before and after a workout session? Well, that's our focus for the week.

To begin with, always remember this thumb rule -- exercising on an empty stomach is detrimental. However, eating too much just before a workout session isn't good either. Don't eat anything at least 30-40 minutes before you decide to exercise.

Yoga experts believe people should avoid drinking or eating anything at least for an hour before a session. Always have water an hour before an exercise session. And yes, sipping water in small quantities throughout the workout is permissible.

What should you eat before a workout? Ideally, a simple fruit should do the trick. You don't want to feel too heavy but you don't want to feel too hungry either.

However, if you find it difficult to start your day without tea or coffee, don't stop yourself. But wait for at least 40 minutes after your tea/ coffee before you start exercising.

On the other hand, all those corporate executives who prefer to hit the office gym after a hearty breakfast -- say one comprising of bread, eggs and fruit -- need to wait for at least two hours before they can work out. In fact, an ideal pre-workout meal is a combination of carbohydrates, fibre and protein.

An ideal pre-workout Indian breakfast can comprise of a bowl of poha or upma, fresh fruit and a glass of milk topped with almonds. Those of you who are allergic to milk can consume a cup of tea or coffee.

Alternatively, you can opt for a bowl of milk and cornflakes, eggs on lightly buttered toast too.

A post-workout meal should be light. Ideally, this meal should be consumed within two hours of the exercise. Don't remain hungry for too long after an exercise session.

This meal should contain protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats too. A vegetable sandwich or a fish sandwich (use wholegrain bread) with fruit or fresh fruit juice should do you just fine.

And yes, before you start your exercise schedule, don't forget to consult your doctor.

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