Pile of healthy lemon, red pepper, banana, lime, oranges, leafy green, coconut, and other healthy fruit and vegetables with yellow tape measure, blue rope, and 2kg silver barbells

 

 

Written By:

Beth Funari Sims Cert. Personal Trainer https://prescription-fitness.com/

Making the right nutrition choices before and after your workout can be daunting. You want to have enough energy to power through your routine without being weighed down. Afterwards you’ll want to be sure that your choices aren’t sabotaging the hard work you’ve put in.

While there are variations based on an individuals goals (fat loss, muscle gain etc) here’s the scoop on smart general guidelines to follow when choosing your pre and post workout food.

Pre Workout

Proper nourishment will help you perform at your best.  I can always tell when a client is starving during a training session – their energy dips easily, and they aren’t able to get the most out of the workout.

You can avoid that crazy hangry-I-could-eat-my-arm, and I’m imagining my trainers head as a giant cookie feeling by thinking ahead!

Generally one to three hours before your workout you’ll want to eat something that’ll help fuel your training.

You want food that will provide a slow and steady release of energy throughout your workout. This is why sugary treats or simple carbohydrates like white bread  – which cause a rush of glucose and a sugar crash – are not a smart choice.

Reach for a balance of protein, quality whole grain carbs and healthy fats.

(Steer clear of too much fat as it can slow down digestion).

Some good options include:

  • Whole wheat toast with 1 tbsp peanut butter, and banana slices
  • Greek yogurt, and a handful of trail mix
  • Protein smoothie (but watch out for the premade varieties with lots of added sugar)
  • Oatmeal with fresh fruit
  • Apple slices and 1 tsbp almond butter

Post Workout

Recovery is key.  Your body uses glycogen (stored energy) and you’ll want to replenish that energy.  Aim to eat 30-60 minutes post workout. A mix of carbs and protein is best for replenishing muscles.

If you’ve been strength training/are focusing on building muscle mass protein is even more important. Generally you’ll want to eat at least 30 grams of protein.  When you lift you create tiny muscle tears and protein will help repair those tears, and allow muscles to get stronger.

Remember you don’t want to negate your hard work so be mindful of portion control.

Some good options include:

  • Grilled chicken and vegetables
  • Salmon and sweet potato
  • Protein smoothie
  • Lean beef or turkey burger with avocado slices
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