Food is FUEL! One of the best ways to increase your energy and performance is to eat Before and After your workout!
Pre Workout Nutrition:
-Aim to eat about a snack or small meal about one hour before training. Depending on your needs, anywhere from 100-300 calories would be ideal.
-Look for a combination of healthy carbohydrates and lean protein. Avoid the “F words”: fats and fiber; these will slow down the absorption of your carbs and protein (that you need for your workout) and can sometimes upset your GI system.
-Try different foods, combinations, and the timing, and see what works best for you. Every BODY has different needs! Some people can eat a meal 3o minutes before training, while others need at least 2 hours (or even no meal!). Do what works best for you!
Pre-Workout Meal Ideas:
- Protein Pancakes (my personal favorite!)
- Nonfat greek yogurt and berries
- Small bowl of oatmeal with 1/2 scoop protein powder stirred in
- Baked protein muffins or bars
- 1/2 turkey, tuna, etc. sandwich on whole wheat
- Whole wheat toast with banana slices and peanut butter
- Smoothie with 1/2 scoop protein powder and fresh fruit
You might not be hungry, or you think that it would be counterproductive to eat right after a workout, but in fact, it is one the most important steps to your success! Intense exercise actually causes damage to your muscle cells and after a workout, your body is begging to be re-fueled! Your post workout meal will allow your muscles to repair faster and stronger. Benefits: You will have more strength and endurance in your following workouts and see results faster!
–The “Golden Hour”: It is recommended that your post-workout meal be consumed within 1 hour after training. The sooner the better! The faster the “fuel” gets absorbed, the faster your body can use those nutrients for recovery!
-Follow a similar guide when choosing your post-workout meal: Choose a meal rich with protein, healthy carbohydrates, and avoiding fat and fiber. Depending on the time and your appetite, anywhere from 200-400 calories would be sufficient.
-My perferred post workout meal? A whey protein shake. It is fast, convenient, and is considered the best form of protein post-training. Whey protein powder provides all necessary amino acids and nutrients for muscle recovery.
Post-Workout Meal Ideas:
- Shake made with whey protein powder and water/milk, etc.
- Nonfat greek yogurt with fruit
- Baked homemade protein muffins or bars
- Egg white scramble/omelette with whole wheat toast
- Lean meat (chicken, fish, etc) with brown rice and veggies
- Cold Chicken or tuna salad-diced chicken and fruit mixed with greek yogurt
Refer to my Meal Planning article for more ideas! 🙂