I often get asked what is best to eat before and after workouts and whilst I don't know what is best for you personally, I can share with you what I eat before and after my workouts and why.
These are not going to be set rules that you should follow, as if you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I don't believe in set rules for everyone, as everyone is different and we all have different needs. However, see these as general guidelines and with trial and error, you will be able to work out what is best for you and what helps you fuel your workouts and recovery.
Protein is needed to build your muscles, but most people think they need way more than they actually do or they think that have to have a supplement to get it. I know many people are "scared" of carbs, but they give you the quick burst of energy that your muscles need. I am not saying you need to eat a huge bowl of pasta - there are other ways to get your carbs.
Think of your body as a car and food is the fuel. Without the fuel, the car is not going to go anywhere and without food, neither is your body. Put the wrong fuel in your car and it won't work as well as it should and the same goes for your body and food. I know some people like to workout on an empty stomach in the morning, but I find that my energy levels are much higher if I have eaten and higher energy means a much better workout.
If I am working out early in the morning, I will usually have some oats or a banana before I hit the gym. You want things that are easy to digest and that won't irritate your stomach. I try to make sure that my pre-workout food is fairly high in carbs (normally from fruit), with some protein too. Here are some other pre-workout meals/snacks that I have:
- Yoghurt and fruit
- Apple and peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Tuna and pasta
- Sweet potato
- Boiled eggs and toast
I try to eat within 30 minutes of my workout, although that isn't always possible.Your post workout meal should help restore what you have lost and protein is good at this point to help build and repair your muscles. My post-workout food is still a mix of carbs and protein, but usually higher in protein.
- Chocolate shake - banana, cocoa, almond/peanut butter and milk
- Tuna and eggs
- Hummus with carrot sticks
- Cottage cheese
- Chicken wrap