I’ve gotten the question about eating around your workouts a couple of times at the gym so I thought I’d address the subject here.
I’ll cut straight to the point – if you’re a generally healthy person who exercises regularly (read: not a competitive CrossFit athlete, Ironman/woman, bodybuilder etc.) you probably don’t need special workout nutrition strategies. Eating healthy, well-considered meals before and after your workouts should be enough.
When we think about feeding our bodies prior to a workout we are focusing on getting nutrients that can help:
- Sustain energy
- Boost performance
- Speed recovery
And when we’re done exercising we want foods that help us to:
- Build muscle
Although this may not be the answer you’re looking for – the best pre- and post-training meals will combine some combination of high quality carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, and some fruits/vegetables which should help to address all of the above. Another important consideration is what sits well in your stomach. Listen to your body! For example, if you do okay fasting for an early morning workout just make sure to get in a good meal afterwards or if you are a 7pm’er and can’t stomach a full meal before bed after your class, just get a good quality snack in. Or, if you work out after work and had a satiating lunch that may tide you over for your workout. If not, get a small snack in right before.
Some of my favorite things to eat around workouts are rice cakes with various toppings, hard boiled eggs with a little avocado, a couple bites of leftover protein, roasted sweet potatoes, or a piece of fruit.
Want some more detailed information on workout nutrition? Check out this detailed post – http://www.precisionnutrition.com/workout-nutrition-explained.
Let me know what your favorite pre- and post- workout meals/snacks are in the comments!