HNDBL-What-to-eat-before-and-after-your-workout-dos-donts

Food. I think about it the whole day. I am always looking forward to the next food moment and I really love to make it a big deal every time. Besides the fact that it’s fun and tasty, it’s also super imporant. When you exercise in the evening, you don’t want your food bothering you. And on your matchday everything should be perfect. Even when you don’t play sports in the highest league. That’s why I will give you a sneak peak in my kitchen in this blog!

At first, let me take you with me into my life a little bit. I play handball in the second Bundesliga. It’s not always as nice as it may seem. For our matches we need to travel all across Germany. A single trip of 8 hours is completely normal. Sometimes I will be away from home 24 hours in a row, only for one match. Now you probably can imagine how perfect my food plan needs to be..

I’ve gained quite some experience in the time I’ve been playing handball on this level. I was already mealprepping when they didn’t even invent the word! At whatever level you are playing sports, when the starting whistle blows, you simply want to feel perfect.

Do’s:

#1: Think in advance about what you want to eat
Make a time planning for yourself with the meals you’re gonna eat. Try to plan three meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

#2: Prepare your food the day before matchday
Even when you do have much time on the matchday, it is smart to already prepare your food as good as possible. Remember to store your meals in the fridge. Now you know that you are ready for the game and you don’t have to worry about your food.

#3: Hallelujah to water!
Drink lots of water on matchday. You will need it! You are gonna sweat a lot. Drink at least 3 liters of water on matchday.

#4: Eat ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ carbs
Make sure that you eat many carbs during the day. Your body will save the energy for later. Eat whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta. Right before the match you can eat a banana, which will give you extra energy directly.

#5: Keep calm and drink coffee
A cup of coffee will create miracles. It’s relaxing and because of the cafeine you will get an energy boost. And that’s quite useful before a workout. Don’t drink more than two cups of coffee, else you could feel uncomfortable in your stomach.

Don’ts:

#1: Don’t eat anything heavy within 2 hours before your workout
Finish your last big meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) 2 hours before you begin to play sports. Some people need more time, try for yourself what works for you.

#2: Leave your herbs in the cabinet
Once I made the mistake to prepare my food a little bit to spicy. It might taste better, but it’s not so good for your tummy during sports!

#3: Don’t eat crunchy, raw vegetables
Raw vegetables like lettuce are healthy, but not so good for your belly right before you workout. Also pieces of raw paprika and cucumber may seem like a good choice, but it will come up a few times after you ate it. And that’s not so comfortable during sports.

Also after your workout it is important to mind what you eat. When you have really given everything in your game, you will feel completely empty. Your water- and energy balance need to be filled up again. Take a protein shake within 30 minutes after your workout and drink lots of tea of water the rest of the day. Also try to eat a healthy meal with lots of proteins and good carbs, within 2 hours after your workout. A plate with whole wheat pasta with chicken or tuna is a good example.

Enjoy your meals!

Tatjana van den Broek

Tatjana van den Broek is one of the content creators of hndbl.com. In her daily life she works as a marketeer, blogs for #GOALS and is a professional handball player at TuS Lintfort in Germany.

Website: goalsbytatjana.com

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