Would you like to be even just 1% better in your performance?
Moulding the right fitness / exercise routine and meals can have remarkable results. Skipping meals, snacking, irregular workouts, getting injuries, yo-yo ing, swapping from one craze to the next – these things really won’t do you any favours. Yes, life gets in the way of our ideal healthy lifestyle but there are some small simple things you can do and stick to that will make a difference.
Getting stronger, faster, fitter doesn’t mean doing fitness tests like how many burpees or squats you can do in 1 minute, then repeating this weeks later. One of the answers may lie in your pre and post workout meals!
We asked Ellie our founder, strength, fitness, and nutrition coach what she thinks is best to do before and after your workouts, competitions, or events.
Fuelling before your sessions really can make that much difference. Aim to eat 2 – 4 hours before exercise, timing makes all the difference, but it can also be very different for each person. If you eat too close to exercise, it can cause cramps, discomfort, or GI complaints. And equally if you eat to early you may not maximise the benefits of what you have just eaten.
Having something 0.5 / 1 – 2 hours before your workout is a good idea. If you are training in the early morning, then try to have something carb and protein based. Banana and peanut with your coffee for example.
The reason being we need to replenish the glycogen stores, the short-term storage of carbs, while asleep the liver is glycogen depleted but the muscles should be fully recovered IF you have had enough sleep.
We do not need a lot, but something is better than nothing. So that we can prime our metabolism and provide energy for the intensity and duration of the session.
So what should you eat?
The main source of energy for the body is carbs, so something carb based and a protein source. Although protein takes longer to digest it does help with protein synthesis (this is the process that helps improve muscle recovery and performance.)
Eggs on toast, peanut butter on a bagel, crackers with low fat cheese, a smoothie or shake.
You should avoid anything that is to high fibrous or hard to digest.
A comprehensive pre workout meal plan can be put together depending on the intensity, duration, and type of exercise you are doing. Ellie says if you want something more tailored then get in touch here..
Eating after your workout is just as important as the pre workout meal. Ellie explains more below.
A post workout meal will not only replenish the glycogen stores that have just been depleted from the workout but also help repair and build muscle. Protein after a workout provides the amino acid building blocks needed to repair muscle fibres that have been damaged and catabolized during the workout and promote the all-important development of new muscle tissue. Finding the right amounts of both carbs and protein is down to the individual person and again should be worked out. Just taking advice from the internet or what your friend or influencer has is not the way forward.
Post workout ideas
- Shake or smoothie with low fat yogurt, fruit protein.
- Low sugar cereal with protein and milk.
- Chicken breast, tofu, fish with sweet potato or rice
- Toasted bagel with nut butter and banana
All the above are suitable but also each one can be good for very different reasons and types of exercise.
Hydration is also something we may not focus on as much as we should. We should be adequately hydrated before, during and after the workouts.
Eating regular throughout the day 5 – 6 times maintains proper blood sugars and energy levels. Regular exercise maintains a healthy body, mind and heart. So indeed, a proper fitness routine and laid out timings of meals can 100% give you at least 1% more in your workouts and get you that much closer to your goals no matter what they are. Weight loss, performance or competing… eat before and after your workouts!!!
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