Make the most of your workout!
If you’ve ever used the phrase “food is feul” you are definitely a fitness nut. Even if you haven’t, you probably know that the right balance of nutrition can make or break your workout. Though there’s no silver bullet for what to eat before and after a workout – some simple tips can give you the edge you need to power in – and out.
Before a workout, stick with a high-carb, low fat meal. Carbs provide your body with the fuel (namely glycogen stores) needed to make it through a workout and a high carb/low-fat meal or snack digests easily. Also, steer clear of too much fiber so you can stay in your workout and not in the restroomJ.
Why not Protein? Proteins are used to maintain and repair body tissues, and are not normally used to power muscle activity. You can have a little protein to keep hunger at bay, but save your big protein meal for post-workout (ratio 1:4 protein:carb).
My best pre-workout snacks:
1. Whole wheat toast with 1 tsp almond or peanut butter, topped with sliced banana
2. Plain greek yogurt with blueberries or banana topped with 1/4 cup Kashi go lean
3. Carrots with hummous
Tip for endurance workouts: While carbohydrates are the main nutrient that fuels exercise of a moderate to high intensity, fat can fuel low intensity exercise for long periods of time. So if you’re going into a 1+ hour workout, increase your fat from the above guidelines
Following your workout, load up on protein with a small serving of a simple carb/sugar (about a 4:1 balance). Protein contains amino acids, the building blocks of muscle. You can get your protein in the form of food (best) like lean meats (chicken, fish), or a whey/soy based protein powder mix (a post-workout shake). Adding a simple sugar can reduce the amount of glycogen used during exercise.
My favorite post workout snacks:
1. Whey protein shake (25g protein) with ½ cup nf milk and frozen blueberries
2. Green salad topped with tuna, cucumber, and tomato with balsamic vinegar
3. Grilled Chicken breast with zucchini and apple slices