If you are serious about your health and fitness, you need to ensure that you fuel your body with the right nutrition, both before and after your workouts. Pre-workout nutrition is, in fact, such an important part of any workout regime that sports stars such as Lebron James, Landon Donovan, and Usain Bolt have been swearing by it for years. Despite the average American spending an average of $56 on food supplements a month, the best results can often be obtained from eating generous amounts of nutrient-dense whole foods such as natural Greek yogurt. A closer look at the various health properties of natural Greek yogurt will reveal just why it often forms such an important part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Why is Greek yogurt such a good pre- and post-workout meal?
Good-quality natural Greek yogurt contains heaps of nutrients including healthy bacterial cultures (known as Lactobacillus) that aids digestion and boosts your overall health. Yogurt makes for the perfect pre-and post-workout meal as it is able to provide your body with the necessary energy to complete your training as well as repair your muscles afterward. Filled with protein, carbs, calcium, fats, vitamin B complex, and phosphorous, Greek yogurt is by far one of the most versatile superfoods any fitness enthusiast can indulge in.
Don’t skimp on your pre-workout meals
While it has been determined that consuming carbohydrates prior to exercise can enhance your performance, as documented by the National Institutes of Health, protein should also be included as part of your pre-workout meal. Greek yogurt is an easy-to-digest protein which makes it ideal to consume before you exercise. You can spruce up a tub of natural yogurt by adding a handful of nuts or berries, rolled oats, a teaspoon of honey or a selection of healthy seeds such as chia, sunflower or pumpkin. If you prefer something savory, add a variety of healthy toppings such as chopped cucumber, olives, chives, and even spinach to your yogurt for a powerful energy boost.
Your post workout meal matters most
While what you eat prior to your workout can have a direct effect on your strength and endurance, what you eat afterward will determine how fast you recover and build muscles. If you are trying to lose weight you generally do not need to eat directly after a training session that is less than an hour in length. If you are not an elite athlete you really don’t need to fill up on energy bars and drinks after your workout. Instead, opt for a balanced meal consisting of a variety of whole foods such as lean chicken, oatmeal, eggs, and (of course) Greek yogurt. You can use your yogurt as a base for a salad dressing or smoothie, scoop it over your steamed fish or chicken or simply enjoy it as is, sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg and sweetened with a squeeze of honey.
Time your pre- and post-workout nutrition properly
When you eat is as important as what you eat in terms of your workout nutrition. Ideally, you do not want to eat right before working out as it can become difficult to train at your best while your stomach is busy digesting your last meal. Ideally, aim to fuel your body with a meal such as organic Greek yogurt and berries between 1 and 3 hours prior to your workout. After your workout, try to get a carb- and protein-laden meal into our body as fast as possible (preferably within 15 minutes, although it is not always possible). The sooner you eat, the sooner your recovery can commence, healing your damaged muscles and increasing your lean muscle mass.
You can’t go wrong by including natural, preferably organic Greek yogurt in your diet on a regular basis. Even if you aren’t the most active person in the world you can still benefit greatly from the nutrient-dense goodness contained in a bowl of delicious yogurt.