I had an intense workout this morning, and out of habit I eat my pre and post workout meal. I have learned the importance of fueling and refueling, and without doing either my workouts would not be as effective. So today I wanted to share why pre and post workout nutrition is so important and some ideas on what to eat and when to eat, so you can improve the effectiveness of your workout. I want to keep this post simple and easy to understand, because there is so much information out there regarding this topic, but I will share what works for me and some meal ideas.
Rules I follow when fueling and refueling:
1. Avoid training on an empty stomach. Your body will not have enough energy to train to it’s full potential. Also don’t train on a full stomach to avoid an uncomfortable and bloated feeling.
2. Consume a mix of protein and carbohydrates about 30 minutes before your workout. Examples of carbohydrates I use are a banana or oats, and for my source of protein I use whey (chicken would also be a good source). For my pre/post workout I eat the same thing which is a protein shake using, 1/2 cup Almond milk or water, 1 scoop of whey and 1/2 banana (I use 1/2 before and 1/2 after), which takes me to my next point…
3. Consume a mix of protein and carbohydrates about 30-45 minutes after your workout. As I mentioned above, I have a protein shake after my workout.
4. Avoid eating fat (good fat of course) before and after a workout. The reason for this is, is fat slows the absorption of protein and carbohydrates.
Keep in mind the time of day you exercise. If it is later in the day, you may not need a pre-workout meal as you may have already consumed it (lunch or supper). If you exercise first thing in the morning, your body will need a pre-workout meal.
Pre & Post Workout Meal Ideas
1. Protein Shake with almond milk (or water), whey protein and 1/2 banana (sometimes I will add 1 cup of spinach).
2. Greek yogurt and mixed berries.
3. Protein Pancakes – 1/2 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup of egg whites, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Blend all ingredients and pour batter into skillet and cook like regular pancakes. I add 1/2 blueberries for place on top.
4. Turkey or Chicken sandwich using whole wheat or ezekiel bread.
5. Egg whites on whole wheat toasted bread.
6. Post workout – Chicken or shrimp stir-fry with mixed vegetables.
7. Protein shake (almond milk/water with a scoop of whey) and an apple.
*Protein shakes are the most convenient and quick pre and post workout snack. You can bring them with you wherever you go, and can add some fruit to accompany them.
I hope this helps when preparing yourself for your daily training session. If you have any other questions, I would be happy to help!