A common question we see in the fitness industry is, “what should I eat before and/or after my workouts?” And, like most cases, the answer is usually; it depends on the situation and individual. However, there are a few general guidelines that most people can follow when it comes to fueling before and after their workout to help optimize their goals and training experience.
In most cases, eating before a workout will be beneficial. It will often give us the necessary energy we need to perform well. However, there are some people that prefer to workout on an empty stomach and the truth is, for most people, it’s okay. As long as you aren’t experiencing blood sugar issues, a 30-60 minute workout first thing when you wake up in a fasted state is not a bad thing. Just make sure you are hydrated and be sure to eat following your workout to gain the most benefits.
If you are eating before your workout, be sure to choose items that are easy to digest and that provide a good source of energy and protein. A few good examples of pre-workout foods are:
- Granola or protein bar
- An apple with nut butter
- Dried fruit with mixed nuts
- Rice cake topped with nut butter
- Greek yogurt with berries
During and after an intense workout, our body goes through many physiological changes. Our cortisol is up, our glycogen is down, our muscle protein is broken down, and lactic acid has accumulated, to name a few.
These are all normal responses from a training session, and actually it’s what we want to happen during a workout.
Afterward, our insulin sensitivity is up, making it a prime time to eat a high carb, low fat meal as a post-workout option. A high carb meal will make cortisol go back down and replenish glycogen stores, which is great for maintaining or building lean muscle.
It is not only ideal to refuel after your workout, it’s often essential if we want our bodies to begin the repair process. If you routinely skip eating after a workout, it will be much harder to reach your fitness goals.
Here are a few post workout snack and meals ideas:
- Protein and nutrient rich smoothie
- Slice of whole wheat toast with nut butter and sliced banana
- 1-2 hardboiled eggs with a slice of whole wheat toast
- 4 ounces of lean protein with half a sweet potato and sautéed spinach
Always remember, Momentum offers protein-packed and nutrient rich smoothies to help optimize your post workout nutrition. Simply stop by the front desk to place your order and it will be ready for you as soon as you finish your workout!