Sometimes it’s hard knowing what to eat before and after a workout, especially if you want to fuel your body with the best nutrients. So how do you choose? Well after a couple years of experience, tips and research, here’s what I’ve discovered!
Before a cardio workout such as running,walking, skipping rope or going on an exercise machine, it’s best to have something light with simple carbohydrates in order for it to digest quickly. Some people choose to do a cardio workout on an empty stomach, however this is only necessary if you have excess weight to loose. Below are some meal/snack suggestions:
-Fruit: banana, apple or whichever fruit you like best
-Yogurt: low-sugar, low fat yogurt (preferably a non-dairy variety)
-Small smoothie: with frozen fruit, water, and a little protein powder
-Oatmeal Cookie (recipe can be found under “Recipes”)
After a hard run, it’s best to re-energize your body with a well balanced breakfast! This includes protein, whole grains, healthy fats and some simple carbohydrates like fruit. What I suggest:
-Eggs, with whole grain toast and some fruit
-Toasted oats with protein powder, bran, milk and fruit
-Coconut water which is filled with potassium; more than a banana! It’s essential to replenish your electrolytes!
Now, if your weight training, here’s what I suggest:
-If you’re pushed for time, have a smoothie! I make mine with water, protein powder, frozen fruit and a tbsp of ground flax seed. Again, this digests quickly and you can even sip on it as your doing your workout. If you find you get hungry during your workout, having some fruit is a great option because as I mentioned above it will digest very quickly and give you the energy you need to finish your workout.
Otherwise, if you have time to digest prior to your workout, here are some other options:
-Oats: Oats are fantastic as they provide slow-digesting complex carbohydrates and will give you long lasting energy. Try the Toasted Oats recipe listed in “Recipes”. This breakfast cereal pairs very nicely with natural almond milk and banana! Mmmm… Delicious! Feel free to add a half scoop of protein powder to this cereal because this will benefit your muscles during your workout. Also, for a little extra fiber, you can add some wheat bran as well.
-Other whole grain cereals such as no sugar added shredded wheat
After a weight workout, I recommend the same type of foods as after a cardio workout. Although, I want to emphasize the importance of protein because it is essentially what helps to maintain muscle. In addition to carbohydrates of course.
-Protein Shake: protein powder, water or non-dairy milk alternative flaxseed (healthy fats: it can be nuts or natural PB too) and fruit
-Natural plain non-dairy yogurt with a little unpasteurized honey, Toasted Oats and some fruit.
I hope these suggestions have helped! The ideas listed above are what I think is best and what I prefer to eat but there are a lot of other options as well. So feel free to try out your own recipes! Maybe some healthy pancakes or waffles!
Whatever it is make sure to stay healthy,