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Fuel it: What to eat to maximize your workout

Fitness By Nina Odongo
Nutrition is not only important for weight loss, it also determines if, how and when you achieve other goals  (Photo: Shutterstock)

Fitness starts with what you eat so don’t treat your kitchen and the gym like they are mutually exclusive. Nutrition is not only important for weight loss, it also determines if, how and when you achieve other goals such as strength, muscle growth, endurance and overall fitness.

ALSO READ: Ingredient of the week: Brown rice

Planning your meals around your workout and fitness goals can dramatically improve your performance and speed up your goal attainment.

1. Carbohydrates before workouts

Ensure that your pre-workout meal is rich in carbohydrates in order to give you energy for your workout by replenishing the glycogen stores in your muscles. Make sure you eat 60-90 minutes before the workout so you have time to properly digest your meal. e.g. meal would be githeri, oats with bananas or ugali and eggs.

2. Protein after a workout

Protein helps repair and grow muscles and should ideally be consumed within 20-60 minutes of a workout. Have a protein rich meal like an omelette with assorted vegetables, grilled chicken and broccoli or brown rice with lentils.

3. During the remainder of the day

During the remainder of the day, aim to eat small but nutritionally dense meals, including healthy fats. Sweet potatoes with fish and avocado, beef stew with nduma and sukuma wiki or  rice and beans are all healthy options.

ALSO READ: Have you ever tried coconut yoghurt?

4. Hydration is key

Make sure to drink 2-3 litres of water a day to reduce lactic acid build up, keep you hydrated and keep your joints flexible.

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