Here is a guide to the best foods for energy to maintain a healthy mind and body before and after a walk, hike or exercise.
It all depends on the time of day but it's essential to refuel your body after walking or any exercise, whether it's 10 minutes or 2 hours later you need to replenish with foods rich in carbohydrates and protein. It's also essential to keep hydrated!
Before going for a walk
You don't need to eat before going out on your walk but if you fancy a pre-walk snack, avoid eating too much to prevent feeling sluggish and having cramps. It's all about eating protein and carbohydrates they are the best foods for energy and will help maintain muscle mass. Here are some deliciously nutritious snacks to try:
- Oatcakes topped with chopped banana
- Fruit and Greek yogurt
Best foods for post-walk energy
Good quality carbohydrates:
- White or sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Foods high in protein:
- Chickpeas or lentils
If you go for a morning walk these are some of the best foods to keep you nourished:
- A bowl of porridge oats
- A slice of rye toast
- Greek yogurt
- Eggs (aka Super Protein)
... And you have a plenty foods to choose from if you are walking throughout the rest of the day:
- Whole grains, lentils and chickpeas
If you are a vegan or vegetarian you can get plenty of protein from nuts, seeds, beans and quinoa
Post walk protein is essential to maintain your muscle mass. Protein also helps to control your digestion and burn fat (worth knowing if you want to lose weight).
Did you know?
It's really good to take a stroll after a meal too for just 10 minutes boosting your metabolism, helping digestion, lowering stress levels, promoting better sleep and it boosts your blood flow. The science behind walking after an evening meal:
- Improves digestion - when you move your body it helps move things inside
- Improves blood glucose levels - compared to other times during the day helping to reduce the risk of diabetes or heart disease
- Decreases stress - exercising in general releases the feel good chemicals which reduce stress, improve memory and encourage a positive attitude.
- Reduces muscle fatigue - motion lubricates the joints and muscles.
- Boosts blood flow - when you are walking you are letting your body pump more blood through, especially good after a meal.
- Helps you sleep - through it's tempting to have a nap after a big meal it's far better for you to go for a short walk and you'll be rewarded with a faster and deeper sleep.