As important as moving your body is every day, it’s just as important to make sure you’re fueling it correctly before and after, to optimize your performance and enhance recovery. You don’t want to go to the gym without eating- your body will be pissed! No, you don’t want to eat a full farmer’s breakfast right before you jump around, but get something in your belly for sure.
Read on and learn what I teach my private clients about fueling their workouts.
Pre-Sweatfest Before you hit the mat, or the pavement, avoid eating anything too heavy. Digestion takes up a ton of energy so your body will need to direct a major portion of your blood to your stomach, therefore decreasing blood circulation everywhere else. This will result in the lack of balance, focus, and strength during your workout. Plus, if you’re practicing yoga, inversions and twists will be totally uncomfortable as you’ll probably feel nauseous- no bueno.
Your best bet? Focusing on quickly digested carbohydrates and a little protein. My favorites:
- A half of a banana or apple with a tablespoon of almond butter
- A small bowl of oatmeal with a few walnuts and raisins
- A rice cake with smashed avocado, squeeze of lemon juice, and dash of cayenne
- My favorite smoothie made with 1 cup of almond or coconut milk, 2 handfuls of baby spinach, ½ frozen banana, ½ cup of pineapple, 1 TBLS cacao nibs, and my favorite protein powder (add ice and more liquid to desired consistency)
Post-workout You need protein to recover muscles and a bit of carbohydrate to get your blood sugar back up; I love the following quick and easy choices:
- Unsweetened greek yogurt with a few almonds, walnuts, or brazil nuts
- A hard boiled egg with hummus instead of egg yolk in middle
- 3 slices of turkey bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato in a wrap
- scrambled eggs with guacamole
If you’re really pressed for time, a handful of nuts is always a great choice for providing energy. Nuts satiate you for a long period of time without any ups and downs. They’re also a good source of healthy fats and protein. If nuts don’t digest well in your body, soak them overnight.