What I Eat Before & After a Workout
I cannot stress enough how important it is to provide your body with the proper fuel to perform at its best in any workout sesh. Whether your spinning, doing a barre class or circuit training, giving your body the nutrients it needs will help you push harder and get the most out of your workout.
Being a spinning instructor, fuelling my body to provide it with enough energy to teach and do my own training is vital!
The perfect pre and post workout meals or snacks include a mix of protein and carbohydrates, as well as other nutrients to give you energy and help replenish your muscles and feed your cells. Here’s what I typically eat before and after I workout!
Before your morning workout…
You’ve heard it about 1000 times, but first and foremost… HYDRATE. We go about seven to eight hours throughout the night with no water, so it is important to drink at least 16 ounces (that’s about 2 cups) of water to avoid dehydration.
I’ve never been the type of person that was able to function without getting some sort of food into my body. But, sometimes it’s hard to eat before a morning workout. About 45 minutes before a morning class, I’ll have a glass a water, big cup of coffee and my go-to slice of gluten-free bread, 1 to 2 tablespoons of nut butter and a banana. If I’m really not feeling like eating much, I’ll just eat the banana. Bananas are great before a workout because of their easily digestible carbs and potassium, which our body sweats out!
After your morning workout…
About 30 minutes after my class (if I’m teaching or training) I am usually starving! Keep hydrating with water and aim for a meal thats high in protein and has some carbs. Protein will help repair and grow your muscles, while carbs will give you energy and fuel your muscles. I usually have eggs (over-easy, scrambled or poached), half an avocado and some berries, which are high in antioxidants and help with muscle recovery. Sometimes I make myself protein pancakes or a berry protein shake – vegan protein powder, almond butter and lots of berries. Another great post workout breakfast is oatmeal or overnight oats, with almond milk, chia and hemp seeds, cinnamon and fruit – you can add maple syrup for sweetness.
Before and after an afternoon class…
If you are hungry before your afternoon workout (in between lunch and dinner), have a light snack that consist of power foods and water. Trail mix that consists of a good mix of nuts and seeds. A great recipe to try is my grain-free granola! If you didn’t already eat oatmeal in the AM, a small bowl of oatmeal or overnight oats will give you energy, or the classic sliced apple with almond butter.
Depending when your class is over, dinner may not be right away. So post workout, grab or make yourself a protein shake to help the body recover.
If dinner-time is right after your workout, focus on a lean protein and complex carbohydrate filled meal. Baked fish or chicken with lots of veggies (Brussel sprouts, broccoli, squad & carrots), turkey chilli (click for recipe), zoodles or sqoodles with veal or turkey meat sauce. Meat is not the only option for protein, you can also go for beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, etc. Most importantly, don’t forget to hydrate!
Before and after evening or night class…
After eating my protein and complex carb filled dinner, I’ll grab a snack to fuel myself about 30-45 minutes before the class. Once again, opt for trail mix/granola or an apple with almond butter.
After class I’ll have a small snack, as I am usually going to bed soon after. Greek or coconut yogurt with fruit, two hard-boiled eggs or a small protein shake. Continue to hydrate – I usually have a cup or warm lemon water before bed regardless if I worked out before or not.
Diet and exercise go hand in hand. Therefore, my goal is to make sure my body is fuelled enough to get the most out of my workout or have the most energy to instruct my class! No matter what workout you are doing, remember how important providing your body with the correct nutrient is and DON’T FORGET TO HYDRATE!!!