What To Eat After An Ab Workout?

What To Eat After An Ab Workout?

What you eat after your workout can make or break your progress. In this post, we’ll help you create a plan to fuel your body with the right foods after an ab workout. By eating the right foods, you’ll speed up muscle recovery and help prevent soreness.

Keep reading for our tips on what to eat after an ab workout.

What To Eat After An Ab Workout

What Are Ab Muscles?

Ab muscles or abdominal muscles are a group of muscles in the upper, middle and lower region of the torso. The main purpose of these muscles is to provide support for the spine and help maintain proper posture.

What To Eat After An Ab Workout?

Everyone wants to know what they should eat after an ab workout, but what about the other muscles in your body? Exercise focuses on specific muscle groups, but that doesn’t mean you only need protein for those areas. Your whole body has just gone through a fairly strenuous activity; it needs nutrients to recover.

1. Fruit

Fruit is high in carbohydrates, which can be very beneficial for replenishing energy stores that were used up through the workout. It also contains electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals that your body requires to recover effectively.

Some good options are oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, pineapples, berries of all kinds, mangoes, and more.

2. Lean meat

Protein is the nutrient your body needs most after an ab workout, so lean meat is a great option. Protein helps build and repair muscles that have just gone through strenuous activity, then it can continue to break down later into amino acids for energy or glucose production. This process helps regulate insulin levels, which may be preventing fat loss if they’re too high.

Most meats are not very healthy once cooked since they contain large amounts of saturated fats; some people even try to avoid eating them entirely. If you eat red meat, make sure it’s lean beef (90% or higher) like top round steak, sirloin tip side steaks, eye of round roast, etc., and remove all visible fat.

Also try chicken breast, turkey, rabbit meat, pork loin chops, venison steaks, etc.

3. Whole grains

Whole grains are another great carbohydrate source because they take longer to digest than simple carbs like fruit or candy bars. They contain more nutrients and fiber, so you can stay fuller longer without taking in many calories. You’ll get plenty of glucose to help your muscles recover, plus other nutrients that you may be missing from other foods.

Every grain has its own unique set of properties; some are higher in protein, while others have a milder taste that goes well with various meals or cuisines. Consider these options: brown rice quinoa cousous bulgur wheat barley amaranth teff

4. Dairy products

Every top athlete knows that calcium is important to help your muscles contract. Low levels of calcium in the body mean it won’t be able to perform as well and may even break down into energy more quickly than it should. You can take a supplement if you’re not getting enough from other sources, but otherwise, dairy products are a great source of calcium.

Some better choices include: plain low-fat yogurt (no sugar added), low-fat milk (one percent or less), cottage cheese, kefir (a fermented milk product high in probiotics), and various cheeses like mozzarella, colby, cheddar, etc. These foods also provide protein and other nutrients; make sure you take a look at the label to find out exactly what they have to offer.

5. Vegetables

Many vegetables have a high water content and are great for hydrating the body after intense exercise. They don’t contain many nutrients other than vitamins, but they can go a long way toward helping you recover from stress or an injury. Some good choices include: lettuce cucumbers tomatoes onions potatoes squash bell peppers romaine cabbage carrots

6. Nuts & seeds

If you want to get some healthy fat sources after your ab workout, nuts and seeds make a great choice. They’re among the healthiest foods out there because they contain fatty acids that help improve cardiovascular function, prevent disease, and regulate hormonal activity in the body.

Some of them also help rev up metabolism-boosting thermogenesis when eaten with other foods. The best choices include: almonds cashews peanuts sunflower seeds pistachios pine nuts flaxseeds pumpkin seeds sesame seeds

7. Fish & seafood

Fish and shellfish are a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium. They can help boost your metabolism as well as regulate the thyroid gland. Most fish is good because it’s not high in fat unless it has been fried, but you should avoid shellfish like shrimp, lobster, crab, etc., if they’re breaded or fried since that will negate all of their health benefits.

Some healthier choices include: tilapia salmon trout tuna oysters halibut clams haddock scallops cod sole flounder shrimp

8. Beverages

Most people reach for a protein shake when they’re trying to gain muscle or just improve their overall health. While that may be a good choice in some cases, it’s not the best option immediately after an intense workout session since it can take too long to digest and won’t do much to help you recover. Instead drink water and focus on hydration. That’s one of the most important parts of post-workout recovery! Later, once the workout is over, you can replace water with other beverages like: green tea coffee (in moderation) soy milk enriched rice milk

9. Legumes

Legumes are a good choice for you because they’re high in protein, fiber, and minerals. They also contain antioxidants that can help remove waste products in the body. The beans in these foods are filling too, which means you won’t likely overeat when you include them in your diet regularly.

Some better choices include: black beans lentils kidney beans pinto beans chickpeas soybeans navy beans adzuki lima blackeye peas fava

10. Tea

Tea contains some antioxidants that help fight off free radicals in the body, which are responsible for premature signs of aging. It’s also a good source of caffeine, which can improve your focus and energy levels after a workout. That makes green tea the best choice since it’s not processed like other teas-other kinds have many added sugars or sweeteners.

One cup of green tea actually has fewer calories than one serving of fruit juice, so it can be a great post-workout snack! Just don’t drink too much at once since too much caffeine is never good for you.

Food To Avoid When Ab Workout:

Some food to avoid when doing ab workouts such as the plank pose, the side plank and many other variations. No matter how advanced you are, eating those types of food will not be good for you as it will interfere with your workout routine.

1. Alcohol

The first thing that you need to avoid is alcohol. Alcohol contains a high level of calories and fat which might lead to weight gain. Some research has also showed that having one alcoholic drink can do serious damage to your abs as well as the rest of your body, so why not skip it?

2. Spicy food

Spicy foods contain spices such as pepper or chilli, both are known to make the entire abdominal cavity inflamed and therefore should be avoided by those who want a flat stomach with sexy looking abs! The reason behind this is because spicy foods increase acid production in your stomach that leads to stomach pain. If you eat them on a regular basis then there’s a high chance that will have an adverse effect on your abdominal muscles and your workouts.

3. Soda and sugary drinks

Sugary drinks such as soda contain a high level of sugar which might lead to weight gain. It will not only make you fat but it can also cause blood flow problems in your body which will affect you during your workout session. Of course there’s no need for an explanation, if you think drinking those things on a regular basis will do good to your abs then you’re wrong! You should stay away from those things as they are bad for your health overall.

4. Junk food

Junk food is just that, junk, it contains a high level of fat and sodium which might lead to bloating and gassy stomach pain. Too much junk food will also affect your ability to work out properly because it will make you tired and sluggish.

5. Cereal products

Cereal products such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread or even bran contain high level of fiber that will cause bloating in your stomach which is not good for ab workouts. Fiber also expands in the stomach which makes you feel full faster than usual so this will decrease the amount of food you can eat throughout the day ultimately leading to weight loss! Try to avoid cereal products if you don’t want any digestive problems while performing an effective ab workout routine.

6. Carbonated drinks

Carbonated drinks are also known as soda, pop, soft drinks etc… They might not be bad for your health but they contain a high level of carbon dioxide which will expand in your stomach because it’s a gas. This can lead to burping and gassy pain because the gas inside your stomach might become too much for you to handle. Of course that will be bad during ab workouts as it can give you away!

7. Sugary snacks

Sugary snacks such as candy, cookies and chocolate contain a high level of sugar which might lead to weight gain. It will not only make you fat but it can also cause blood flow problems in your body that affects workouts. Of course there’s no need for an explanation, if you think eating those things on a regular basis will do good to your abs then you’re wrong! You should stay away from those things as they are bad for your health overall.

8. Refined grains

Refined grains such as white rice, white bread or even pasta contain a high level of carbs & sodium that might lead to bloating and gassy stomach pain. Too much refined grains will also affect your ability to work out properly because it can make you tired and sluggish. Try to avoid those things if you don’t want any digestive problems while performing an effective ab workout routine.

9. Deep fried food

Deep fried food contains a high level of oil which might lead to weight gain. It’s not good for health overall because it increases the risk of heart disease by clogging up arteries! If you eat them on a regular basis then there’s a high chance that will have an adverse effect on your abdominal muscles and your workouts.

10. Milk

Milk contains lactose which causes gas, bloating and digestive problems when consumed in large amounts. It also causes blood flow problems because it thins the blood so if you drink milk on a regular basis then there’s a high chance that you will have an adverse effect on your abdominal muscles and your workouts.

11. Red meat

Red meat contains too much saturated fats which might lead to weight gain. If eaten in large amounts then it might affect blood flow in the body which is bad for ab workouts as mentioned earlier! Try to avoid red meat if you don’t want any digestive problems while performing an effective ab workout routine.

12. High-fat foods

High fat foods like fried chicken or croissant contain saturated fats which might lead to weight gain and heart disease! If eaten in large amounts then it might affect blood flow in the body which is bad for ab workouts as mentioned earlier! Try to avoid those things if you don’t want any digestive problems while performing an effective ab workout routine.

13. Artificial sweeteners

As the name suggests, artificial sweeteners contain too much chemicals that can lead to weight gain and bloating in the stomach, not to mention digestive problems! You should stay away from those things as they are bad for your health overall.

14. Salt

Salt contains sodium that causes water retention in the body which makes you feel bloated and puffy most of the time! This has a negative effect on workouts because it affects blood flow in the body so if you frequently eat salt then your workouts will be affected! You should stay away from salt if you want to get good results in your ab workout routine.

Some Ab Workouts For Beginners:

1. Crunch and Tuck This is the basic crunch.

Lie on your back with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor and hands at your sides. Keep your chin tucked to your chest throughout the exercise. Using only your abdominal muscles, curl up until your shoulder blades are about two inches off of the ground or mat. Hold for a second, then slowly lower yourself back down to starting position as you inhale. Make sure not to pull on your neck by keeping you chin tucked throughout the movement! 2 sets of 20 repetitions this workout is good for all levels – especially beginners!

2. V-Up

This is another simple exercise that targets the abs, but also engage the hip flexors and obliques somewhat.

This move is performed exactly how it sounds… Lie on your back with legs extended, arms outstretched overhead. Simultaneously lift your legs and torso up so that you form a “V” shape with your body at the top of the position. Hold for 2 seconds at the top, then slowly lower yourself down to starting position while inhaling. 3 sets of 15 repetitions this workout is good for all levels – especially beginners!

3. Side Plank

This exercise works to strengthen the abdominals as well as work many stabilizer muscles in your shoulder & hips.

Lie down on one side propped up on your elbow. Keep your feet stacked on top of each other and step one foot out in front to balance yourself (you will feel it in your abs). Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides. To make the exercise even harder, you can put your top leg up on a bench or stool to increase the oblique work involved. You can also raise one foot instead of having both feet on the ground. Hold this plank for 10-20 seconds for beginners and 1 minute if you are advanced. This workout is good for all levels – especially beginners!

4. Scissor Kicks

Lie down on your back with bent legs. Clench your abdominals so that there is no space between your lower back and the floor/mattress as you perform these movements. Lift your right leg off of the ground about six inches, tightening your ab muscles by bringing it close to your chest. Hold for 2 seconds, then lower your leg back down to the floor/mattress keeping you abs clenched tightly at all times. Alternate legs after each repetition. 3 sets of 10 repetitions this workout is good for all levels – especially beginners!

5. Bicycle Crunches

This exercise works on the obliques as well as the abdominals. Lie flat on your back with bent legs and lift one knee into your chest while straightening out the opposite leg in front of you. Use your ab muscles to curl up towards your bent knee while simultaneously turning your head away from that same side (look at ceiling.) Keep alternating sides, keep stomach pulled in tight throughout the exercise. 3 sets of 15 repetitions this workout is good for all levels – especially beginners!

6. Cool Down & Wrap Up

Finish your workout with a nice warm-up and cool down for 5 minutes each to stretch out all the muscles you just worked. Also end with an ab specific exercise if you have time. If not, then you can finish up with a few other exercises that work other parts of your body. Make sure to stretch your abs as well as your back and legs!

These are just a few of the many ab workouts for beginners. After only 1-2 weeks, you should begin to see results in your abdominals and will be able to increase the number of repetitions that you are doing per set. You can also use exercise machines which are easy on the joints like treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes or stair steppers. If you have access to one it is great exercise tool if done regularly. Abdominal exercises can help strengthen your core muscles which not only look good but make other exercises easier. And remember…. no matter what age, incorporating abdominal workouts into your daily routine will eventually result in a flatten stomach.

Should You Eat Before You Exercise?

Exercise is a key part of any weight loss program. But did you know that how and when you exercise can affect your weight loss efforts? Many people think they lose more weight if they exercise in a fasted state. In a fasted state, the body uses its fat stores for energy since there is little to no food being digested, whereas in a fed state, the body will use carbohydrates for energy.

Theoretically, exercising early on in the morning on an empty stomach should help you lose more weight since your body is using fat as its main source of fuel. But research confirms otherwise: A study published by the British Journal of Nutrition found that pre-exercise meals don’t make a difference when it comes to weight loss efforts.

What is more important for your overall success in reaching or maintaining a healthy weight is the total amount of physical activity that you get each week, not whether you eat before you exercise. Exercise plays key roles in both health and fitness, so include physical activity in your daily routine no matter what type of fuel source your body uses — fat or carbohydrates.

Foods to Eat After Morning Workouts

1. Bananas

Bananas are high in carbohydrates, which is perfect for refueling your muscles after a workout. Although the bananas themselves contain sugar (which means you should be careful about eating too many), they also come with lots of fiber and potassium. Both these ingredients will help curb hunger and cravings, so you eat less later on.

2. Watermelon

Watermelons are not only tasty; they’re great for rehydration after morning workouts. Not only do they provide your body with electrolytes, but they also replace fluids lost during exercise. Watermelon is 92 percent water, meaning that it’s effective at hydrating your system without upsetting your stomach or bloating you up.

3. Yogurt

Yogurt contains calcium, which means that it helps repair muscles. What makes yogurt better than other calcium-rich foods is that it contains live cultures. These are probiotics, which help keep your gut healthy by fighting bad bacteria in your digestive system. The more healthy flora you have in your stomach, the faster you’ll recover after morning workouts.

4. Oranges

Oranges are perfect for refueling after morning workouts because they contain lots of vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is vital because it repairs the tiny tears in muscle fibers caused by exercise. Potassium also helps with this process, but oranges also aid digestion and reduce bloating, so you don’t feel weighed down all day long.

5. Eggs

Eggs aren’t just a great source of protein for breakfast; they’re also perfect fuel after morning workouts. Because eggs are high in protein, they help repair broken down muscle fibers. They’re also versatile enough that you can eat them at any time of day or night. By eating eggs regularly, you’ll see a real difference in how your muscles look and feel. At the same time, you’ll boost how long it takes before your muscles become tired during exercise, thus improving your overall performance.

6. Almonds

Almonds are full of good fats, which repair cell membranes and make new cells. What’s more, almonds are rich in magnesium, which reduces post-exercise pain. Magnesium is effective because it boosts ATP (the energy that powers muscles). If you’ve ever felt sore after morning workouts, then magnesium is the solution.

7. Tortellini

Tortellini is a great source of protein for recovery after morning workouts. Because it’s so easy to digest, you’ll recover quickly. The carbs in tortellini are also perfect your muscles because they provide energy so you don’t feel fatigued during the day. Both these factors mean that Tortellini keeps you feeling satisfied until lunchtime, so you won’t snack on junk food or dine at fast food joints – which are disastrous for maintaining weight loss.

8. Cheese

Most cheeses contain lactose (milk sugar) which means that they’re great for refueling after morning workouts. Combine this with their protein content and it’s easy to see why cheese is ideal as a recovery food. While some types of cheese do contain carbs, they’re very little compared with those in bread or pasta. When combined with lots of fruit or vegetables, cheese provides everything that your muscles need for repair and growth – even leaving you room for a small dessert afterwards!

9. Bananas

Bananas contain the perfect balance of carbs, minerals and vitamins for recovery after morning workouts. They’re rich in potassium (which is vital because it regulates fluids in your body); magnesium (for extra ATP); calcium (targeted at repairing muscles) and vitamin B6. Eating bananas regularly will ensure that you get plenty of all these nutrients, which are essential if you want to look toned. At the same time, they’ll improve how long it takes before your muscles feel tired during exercise, meaning that you can push yourself harder every day.

10. Noodles

Noodles are great for recovery after morning workouts because they provide lots of carbs to refuel tired muscles. What makes them better than other carb sources is their low glycemic index. This means that the carbs in noodles are digested slowly, which means you won’t feel bloated all day. What’s more, they’re easy to prepare – just add some veggies for extra vitamins and minerals!

11. Whey protein shake

Whey protein is the ideal recovery food after morning workouts. What’s more, it can be prepared in just a few minutes. All you have to do is mix whey powder with some milk and berries for extra taste and goodness. Whey powder is one of the best recovery foods because it contains BCAA ( branch chain amino acids ), which help muscles recover faster and grow larger. At the same time, research has shown that whey protein reduces muscle soreness. So if you’ve ever felt like you hardly got a workout because your muscles were too sore afterwards, then whey powder will turn this situation around!

12. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese provides your body with the right balance of proteins for recovery after morning workouts. This is important because your muscles need protein for repair and recovery. What’s more, cottage cheese contains creatine which helps to ward off fatigue and increase muscle mass. This makes it great as a pre-workout snack as well as post-workout!

13. Lean meat

Lean meat contains lots of protein which makes it perfect for recovery after morning workouts. Not only will this help muscles to recover faster, but research has also shown that eating lean meat can boost your metabolism, so you’ll burn calories much more quickly. This is great if you want to strip away fat without losing weight! While chicken breast and turkey are the leanest meats, other sources such as beef and lamb can help you to recover just as effectively after your morning workouts.

14. Salmon

Salmon provides your body with all of the protein it needs for recovery after morning workouts. What’s more, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation and boost cardiovascular health. If you don’t eat salmon regularly, or haven’t tried it before, then now’s the perfect time to try it after a morning workout!

15. Grilled chicken

Grilled chicken is rich in protein, but it also has a few other recovery benefits too. For one, grilled chicken contains iron which boosts your energy levels after morning workouts. What’s more, it can help prevent fatigue or dizziness, so if you have issues with exercising in the morning then try eating some grilled chicken before heading out to get fit.

How Long Can You Exercise After Eating?

Many people make the mistake of thinking that you can’t exercise until the food is out of your system. The fact is, anything under 4 hours doesn’t really affect your performance during exercise.

The post-exercise meal enhances recovery and muscle protein synthesis, but only if the nutrients are taken in right after finishing exercising. For this reason, it is recommended to eat within 1 hour after you’re done exercising.

Remember that food plays an important part in your performance during exercise, which is why it’s also important to figure out what you should eat before exercising, what you should eat during long exercises, and make sure your diet is balanced for optimal results.

Should You Need To Fuel Up During Your Ab Workout?

If you are doing ab exercises to lose weight or burn fat, then yes. If your goal is to build more defined core muscles, then no.

Your ab muscles need energy to work, and if they do not have enough energy stores (glycogen) before the workout begins then they will take the glucose that exists in your bloodstream for fuel. If you are serious about weight loss, then these ab exercises will not be effective in that area when they use your blood glucose for fuel.

You may have heard that it is important to stretch before doing ab workouts. This is because you need your muscles to be flexible to get the best range of motion when exercising them. Also, stretching before workout helps prevent injury during the exercise routine. However, there are no studies I could find regarding whether or not it is better to immediately drink a sports drink containing glucose (sugar) or put energy into your system with something like candy or fruit juice prior to an abdominal work out.

The truth is, if your goal is weight loss and you do not want any of the fat burning effects of your ab workout to be wasted, it is best to fuel up before you start. To be extra safe and ensure the most effective weight loss results from your workouts, refuel post-workout as well.

Abdominal Muscles Anatomy

Abdominal muscles start where neck and shoulders meet at the base of your ribcage and extend to the top of your pelvis. The main muscle is called rectus abdominis, which is a long flat muscle that extends along the entire length of your abdominal wall. It has upper and lower sections, divided by a central band of connective tissue called linea alba.

There are three other muscles in your abdominal region. The external oblique is the outermost of the two flat muscles, which covers abdominal wall like a “coat.” The internal oblique muscle is in front of the external oblique and acts as an opposing force to it. Finally, there are your transversus abdominis muscles located at the center of your four abdominal muscles and extend vertically along your entire torso.

Abdominal Muscles Function

When you inhale through your nose, more air enters into your lungs and they expand – this is called thoracic expansion or ribs expanding forwards. Simultaneously, all four abdominal muscles contract but more prominently on one side than on the other (or both sides), causing them to bulge outwards like a balloon inflating. The contraction hitting your diaphragm also occurs at the same time, causing this muscle to bulge downwards into your abdomen.

The function of all four abdominal muscles is to cause a forward-pushing movement from the pelvis and lower trunk by contracting simultaneously. These four muscles work together in a coordinated way through a system which has one primary and two secondary control mechanisms:

Primary Control Mechanism – Intra-Abdominal Pressure (IAP) Secondary Control Mechanisms – Mechanical Coupling Through Connective Tissue – Muscle Attachment Points

Muscle Attachments

Proper posture is maintained when opposing forces are balanced on either side of your spine. A good example of this would be the way your abdominal muscles and the muscles in your lower back work together to keep you upright. If your abdominal muscles, for example, shorten or contract on only one side of your body when you bend forward with a sit up, it can pull your pelvis off balance, causing lower back pain.

Abdominal Muscles Weakness Symptoms

Muscle imbalances are more common than most people think and they cause a wide range of symptoms such as tendonitis, muscle strains and postural issues. A common example of this is a right-sided weakness of the four abdominal muscles which causes an anterior pelvic tilt. This is thought to be a major factor that contributes to low back pain since it puts greater torque on the hips and increased pressure on the spine from the pull of the abdominal muscles and their attachments to your pelvis. It is also a main factor in causing lower back pain in pregnancy.

Small, but important: The transversus abdominis muscle also plays an important role when you sneeze by contracting and pushing the contents of your abdomen upwards, which compresses air pressures that come up from your lower body.

How To Strengthen Abdominal Muscles?    

The best way to strengthen your abs is to focus on working them through complete range of motion exercises with full contraction and extension. This way it’s possible for you to avoid postural problems, such as kyphosis (hunched back) and excessive lordosis (rounded shoulders).

When doing any of the following exercises – it’s important to remember that you should never hold your breath, as this reduces blood flow and results in a lack of oxygen reaching the muscles. When breathing correctly, muscle fibers receive constant supplies of blood and so can work harder and more effectively for longer periods of time.

Try To Perform The Following Exercises: Reverse Crunches Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and knees bent. Lift feet 2-3 inches off the floor then lift shoulders and upper back toward knees as high as possible. Lower back down then repeat for 10 repetitions. Plank From all fours, tighten abs and glutes while straightening legs to form a straight line from hips to shoulders (hold 30 seconds). Side Plank From all fours, tighten abs and glutes as you lift hips to form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Hold for 30 seconds each side. Reverse Crunches Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and knees bent. Lift feet 2-3 inches off the floor then lift shoulders and upper back toward knees as high as possible. Lower back down then repeat for 10 repetitions.

Exercise To Strengthen Transversus Abdominis Muscle: When strengthening this muscle it is important to remember that it acts like a girdle around the trunk of the body. If it’s tight, it can cause lower (and sometimes upper) back pain by pulling the muscles excessive arching or curving forwards. As this muscle lies deep within the abdomen it can be difficult to direct specific exercises toward it, but strengthening this area of your body will help improve posture and reduce pain.

Some suggestions for exercises include:

Side Bends Lie on your left side with legs straight. Raise top leg as high as possible (hold 3 seconds), lower, then raise again; repeat 10 times each side. Clamshells Lie on your right side with knees bent 90 degrees and together, hips slightly raised so that feet are about 18 inches apart. Rotate knees out to sides as you lift top knee up 2-3 inches (hold 3 seconds) then lower; repeat 10 times each side. Draw-In Exercise Lie on back with arms extend out to sides with palms down, legs extended and knees over ankles. Tuck in abs while pulling your navel toward spine to flatten back. Hold for 3 seconds then release; repeat 10 times each side.

Conclusion

After a workout, it’s important to refuel your body with the right nutrients so that you can recover and prepare for your next session. In this article, we’ve outlined what to eat after an abdominal workout. We hope that this information helps you reach your fitness goals!

 

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