When it comes to eating healthy and working out, I rarely fall off the bandwagon. My daily routine consists of leafy greens, my morning coffee, sweaty gym sessions, stretching (and of course sitting on my bum 9-5… yes it’s not all lululemon and relaxing) But despite being a health nut/gym rat, there is one thing that has always stumped me… What to eat before and after a workout? and when?
If it is a morning 6am sess for me I rarely eat before hand. No pre workouts or coffee stimulants, just me and my water bottle ready to sweat it out. I never realised just HOW bad this was until I came across an article. According to livestrong.com you can maximize your workouts and prolong your energy throughout the day by fueling yourself with the right foods pre gym. So if you are like me and work out on an empty stomach in the morning… keep reading! You are not fueling your body correctly and wont get results… uhh ohh!!!
If you workout in the morning: firstly GO YOU for getting out of your warm comfy bed especially with Winter around the corner brrrrrrr!!!! You need to eat within 30 minutes of waking and this also goes for training days. Including those 6am sessions. So if you are boxing at 6am, why not try and have a couple of spoonful’s of soaked or cooked oats or half a banana as you head out the door. This might not work for everyone but having something in your system is better than nothing especially if it is a strength/HIIT based workout. If it’s a light walk or jog you are heading out the door for then an empty stomach is ok. This is known as ‘fasted cardio’ – just remember to eat as soon as you get back in the door!
If you workout in the afternoon: Eat a snack before your workout and something that is high in carbs and protein. Peanut butter on toast or rice cakes, a banana or some greek yoghurt will do the trick just perfectly.
After your workout: you should try eat within 30 minutes of your session so that your body uses the food for recovery and doesn’t start burning your muscles. The most important food group after a workout is protein. There are so many easy on the go protein snacks you can have, especially if your dinner is a few hours away. Have a handful of nuts or whip up a protein shake – even if you are not hungry. This ‘meal’ isn’t about hunger it is about maximizing your workout and getting the results you deserve! It will also stop you from being staaarrrrrrrrving when you get in the door and over eating at dinner! Been there done that. Check out my smoothie recipes >> HERE.
Things to avoid pre workout: chili foods and high saturated fat heavy foods such as curries, cheese toasties and sugary artificial cereals, nutri-grain? more like nutri-sugar. These types of foods will make your stomach upset and queasy which will prevent you from a killer workout with maximum results.
And the number one rule for pre and post workouts is DRINK YOUR WATER. Skip the energy drinks (which are full of crap) and just scull that water. Coconut water is full of electrolytes so if you are on the run and want something other than water – grab a coconut water and hydrate.
Fun Fact: Lack of water is the number one reason for day time fatigue. Next time you hit that 3pm slump – why not scull some water rather than buying another coffee.