As the saying goes, “you are what you eat.” This rings true, especially when it comes to exercise. Fueling your body with the right amount of calories is crucial to achieving your fitness goals. But how many calories should you consume before and after a workout? Let’s take a closer look.
Calories and Exercise.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the number of calories you should consume depends on several factors, including your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level. For instance, a sedentary person will require fewer calories compared to an active person.
In general, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. To maintain your weight, you need to consume the same number of calories that you burn through exercise and daily activities. If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than you burn.
Calories and exercise go hand in hand. Consuming the right amount of calories can provide your body with the energy it needs to perform well during exercise. Additionally, exercising regularly can help you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
When you exercise, your body burns calories as it uses energy to perform physical activity. The number of calories you burn during exercise depends on several factors, including the type of exercise, the intensity, and the duration. For instance, running burns more calories than walking, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns more calories than steady-state cardio.
How many calories should you burn a day?
When it comes to how many calories you should burn a day, it depends on your individual goals and needs. The number of calories you burn each day is known as your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), which includes the calories burned through exercise, daily activities, and resting metabolic rate (RMR).
Calculating your TDEE can help you determine how many calories you should consume each day to maintain, lose, or gain weight. There are several online calculators that can estimate your TDEE based on factors such as age, gender, weight, height, and activity level.
While calorie counters and TDEE calculators can be helpful tools, it’s important to remember that they provide estimates and not exact numbers. Additionally, relying solely on calorie counting can lead to unhealthy eating habits and an unhealthy relationship with food.
Related Reading: 10 Exercises to Burn More Calories
Healthy Eating Habits Maximize Your Workout.
In addition to consuming the right amount of calories, it’s important to choose nutrient-dense foods that provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. Some examples of nutrient-dense foods include fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, whole grains, and healthy fats.
It’s also important to stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise. Aim to drink at least 8-10 cups of water per day, and more if you’re exercising in hot or humid conditions. You can also hydrate with sports drinks that contain electrolytes to replace the fluids and minerals lost through sweat.
Learn more about how healthy eating can maximize your workouts. Read Burning Calories: Simple Strategies for Success
To fuel your body for a workout, it’s important to consume the right amount of calories beforehand. Eating too much can make you feel sluggish, while eating too little can leave you feeling weak and fatigued. So, how many calories should you consume before exercise?
The answer depends on the intensity and duration of your workout. For instance, if you’re doing a low-intensity workout, such as yoga or walking, you don’t need to consume as many calories as you would for a high-intensity workout, such as running or HIIT.
As a general rule of thumb, aim to consume 1-2 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight and 0.15-0.25 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight 1-2 hours before exercise. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg) and are doing a moderate-intensity workout, aim to consume 68-136 grams of carbohydrates and 10-17 grams of protein before your workout.
Here are some examples of pre-workout meals:
- 1 medium banana and 1 tablespoon of almond butter
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup of mixed berries
- 1 slice of whole-grain toast with 1 scrambled egg and 1/4 avocado
- During Exercise
During exercise, your body relies on glycogen stores for energy. If you’re doing a low-intensity workout, such as yoga or Pilates, you may not need to consume any calories during your workout. However, if you’re doing a high-intensity workout, such as running or cycling, you may need to consume some carbohydrates to sustain your energy levels.
As a general rule of thumb, aim to consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour of exercise. You can consume carbohydrates in the form of energy gels, sports drinks, or even fruit.
After exercise, it’s important to refuel your body with the right nutrients to promote muscle recovery and growth. Consuming the right amount of calories after a workout can also help you maintain your energy levels and prevent overeating later in the day.
As a general rule of thumb, aim to consume 0.25-0.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and 1-1.2 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight within 30 minutes of your workout. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg) and did a moderate-intensity workout, aim to consume 17-20 grams of protein and 68-82 grams of carbohydrates after your workout.
Here are some examples of post-workout meals:
- 1 cup of chocolate milk
- 1 cup of quinoa salad with 3 ounces of grilled chicken and mixed vegetables
- 1 smoothie with 1 banana, 1 scoop of protein powder, and 1 cup of mixed berries
It’s important to note that the number of calories you consume before, during, and after exercise should be tailored to your individual needs. If you’re unsure about how many calories you should consume, it’s best to consult a registered dietitian or a certified personal trainer who can help you create a personalized nutrition plan.
Key Takeaways: Consuming Calories for Exercise.
Consuming the right amount of calories for exercise is essential for achieving your fitness goals. The number of calories you need to consume depends on your individual needs and goals. It’s important to focus on healthy eating habits that include nutrient-dense foods and regular exercise rather than solely on calorie counting.
Additionally, creating a moderate calorie deficit combined with regular exercise can lead to sustainable weight loss.
- Consuming the right amount of calories can provide your body with the energy it needs to perform well during exercise.
- The number of calories you burn during exercise depends on several factors, including the type of exercise, the intensity, and the duration.
- To maintain your weight, you need to consume the same number of calories that you burn through exercise and daily activities.
- Creating a moderate calorie deficit combined with regular exercise can lead to sustainable weight loss.
- Healthy eating habits that include a variety of nutrient-dense foods and regular exercise are more important than solely focusing on calorie counting.
- Regular exercise can provide several health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and improving mental health.
Remember to listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues and choose physical activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle. By adopting healthy habits, you’ll not only achieve your fitness goals but also improve your overall health and well-being.
And as always, Xist Fitness is here for you with the experience and support you need to achieve all your fitness goals.