I’ve had some requests for suggestions on what to eat both before and after a workout so I’ve put together a run down of what I tend to eat pre and post workout.
I think it’s important however to listen to your body and give it what it’s asking for; for example if I’m working out first thing I have to eat something before. I usually wake up starving and I’ve found that without a small snack (usually a banana or a juice) I just don’t have the energy to workout properly. However, I know that some people feel terrible if they eat before their morning workout, whilst others need a full breakfast first. We’re all different so use my suggestions but also experiment and see what works for you.
If I’m doing a long workout session or one that incorporates a lot of cardio then I usually go for a carb based snack pre-workout, although I try to make sure I have it at least an hour before I workout so I don’t feel heavy in the gym. An easy option is rye bread (or you can use rice cakes, spelt bread etc) with nut butter on top for a nice mix of slow-releasing energy from the complex carbohydrates and protein from the butter.
If you’re on the go then a natural, low sugar bar can be a great option. I’ve mentioned my love for nakd bars already on this site but Clif bars and Bounce balls are also great protein-rich sources of energy.
My final go-to snack is low fat greek yoghurt with wheat-free granola; I often make my own to make sure its not full of sugar but there are some great brands out there such as Rude Health that are naturally sweetened.
And finally, I sometimes have a big cup of coffee half an hour or so before a big workout for that immediate energy boost!
What I eat post working out will depend largely on the type of workout I’ve done, even if I don’t end up eating for a good hour or so after my workout’s finished. Don’t eat if you’re not hungry after a workout just for the sake of it- listen to your body!
After any type of toning or weight bearing workout session then I make sure my post workout snack is largely protein based to help my muscles recover and rebuild.
Many girls are scared of them, fearing they’ll bulk them up like a bodybuilder, but my number 1 post-workout snack is a protein shake. Because I can’t tolerate whey I use alternative proteins such a hemp or brown rice powders usually in either vanilla or chocolate flavours. I tend to mix them with half water and half almond milk, adding in mixed berries, spinach, coconut oil, chia seeds for some fibre and a nut butter if I’m feeling in need of some extra energy. I also carry around sachets of protein powder that can be added to water for a quick and easy snack when I’m on the go.
Other good protein-based snacks include a handful of raw unsalted nuts with a piece of fruit, greek yoghurt with mixed seeds and berries, lean protein (such as chicken, turkey or tofu) with broccoli or a power protein ball made with chocolate protein powder and almond butter blended together and rolled into little balls, which are then rolled in chia seeds, coconut flakes and cinnamon. Yummy!
If you’re workouts been more cardio based, or just especially gruelling then add in a complex carbohydrate element to the protein. Think a piece of fruit, or dried fruit with the berries, a wholemeal slice of bread or cracker with the chicken and veg and some oats to your protein shake.
Hope this helps and I’d love to hear some of your pre and post workout snack suggestions!
And for today’s fitness inspiration I’m going back to one of my faves, who’s abs are giving me serious ab envy right now. Doutzen Kroes!