You got your workout in for today, patting yourself on the shoulder as you leave the gym. As you make your way home, your tummy begins to rumble… “Oh look cake from yesterday’s party”, and before you know it, you’ve consumed more than you actually burned off at the gym. Avoid binging after a workout and fuel your body properly both before and after your workout, this will maximise your results after all those squats and lunges.
Pre- workout meals
1. Carbs are your BFFs
Think of carbs and think of energy. When we consume carbohydrates they are broken down into glucose and absorbed by muscle cells and propel us to our maximum for the duration of a workout. It’s recommended to eat simple carbs before a workout as they are easily digested by our body and supply a quick source of energy. Pre-workout snacks may include: a granola bar, a piece of fruit, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, dried fruit, a rice cake, and a piece of toast.
2. Pump that protein
Accompany your pre-workout fuel with a portion of protein, this is essential for those who are weight training. As we workout, we create tiny tears in our muscles, so it’s vital to provide your body with the tools to repair them so that your muscles can grow. Examples of protein include: nuts, Greek yogurt, a slice of turkey, a hardboiled egg, and milk.
3. Timing is key
The time frame to eat before a workout is anywhere from 30 min to 3 hours prior to doing any exercise. This is individual to everyone so you might need to test run this one.
8 easy and fast pre workout meal plans:
1. A smoothie with 1 cup of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables
2. An apple or pear with 1 tablespoon of nut butter
3. ¾ cup of Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon granola and ½ cup of berries
4. 2 tablespoons of dried fruit and 1 tablespoon of raw, unsalted nuts
5. 1-2 rice cakes topped with 1 tablespoon of nut butter
6. Oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter and ½ cup of fruit
7. Protein shake.
8. Veggie white egg omelette.
Post – workout meal ideas
Time to replenish
It’s important that after a workout you eat something as soon as you can. Now is the time to replenish your body, to restore the glycogen your body has exhausted during the duration of a workout. Try and eat a small snack 20 minutes after exercise if you are unable to eat a whole meal right away. Keep in mind that healthy protein is ideal as well as complex carbohydrates. Proteins such as tofu, beans or fish and complex carbs such as brown rice or quinoa are just what your body needs.
8 post workout meal ideas to try:
1. Snack: 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and ½ sliced banana
2. 1 to 2 hardboiled eggs with a slice of whole wheat toast
3. 1, 7-inch round whole wheat pita stuffed with grilled veggies and 2 tablespoons hummus
4. A protein-rich green smoothie
5. Veggie omelette with avocado and ½ cup of roasted potatoes
6. 4-ounces of steamed fish with a baked sweet potato and sautéed spinach
7. Grilled chicken with steamed vegetables
8. Protein pancakes