You are killing it in the studio during training, but how do you avoid undoing all the greatness you are achieving? Your body needs fuel to keep you going strong during your workouts. This starts before you walk into the gym and as soon as you walk out.
Before your workout: FUEL UP
When you don’t properly fuel up before training, it is like trying to drive your car on empty. There is not enough nutrition, or energy, to get the most out of your workout, which limits your calorie burn. Skipping the calories before a workout can also result in low blood sugar leading to light-headedness and fatigue. So don’t ruin that training session before you even leave the house.
FUEL UP – starting about 1-2 hours before:
- Make sure you are hydrating with water.
- Try eating healthy carbohydrates such as whole wheat toast, oats, yogurt or fruits and vegetables.
- Try to avoid food with saturated fats and/or protein rich food before your workout. This type of fuel takes some time to digest in the stomach and will take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles and could cause that discomfort in your stomach.
- If you enjoy a quick snack right before your workout (5-10 minutes), look for a piece of fruit like an apple or banana. You should be looking for easily digested carbohydrates, giving you quick energy without leaving you feeling slow.
After your workout: REFUEL YOUR TANK!
During training sessions, the body burns a lot of carbohydrates, this being the main fuel for your muscles during exercise. Refueling after a workout helps you recover, build muscles and improve your future performance. BUT without proper nutrition post workout, you could be undoing everything you’ve strived for at the studio.
REFUEL – starting 20-60 minutes after your workout:
- Fluids are needed to re-hydrate your body after a workout due to loss of water in the form of sweat. This can be water, juice or a mix of BCAA’s (amino acids).
- Try to eat food with a mix of carbs and protein. Carbohydrates are needed to replace muscle glycogen after your workout and protein prevents muscle breakdown and aids in its synthesis, leading to increased muscle tissue. This type of fuel could include Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, a protein smoothie, or eggs and whole wheat bread.
Try to remember that everyone’s body is different. There are no hard and fast rules about fueling or refueling your body, we all have different and specific needs. By fueling and refueling your fitness with proper nutrition, it will help you maximize the benefits of all your hard work at the gym.
Just remember, don’t undue all the hard work and effort!
FUEL UP and REFUEL YOUR TANK!
Style Magazine: Jessica Jones, MS, RD
Precision Nutrition: Brian St. Pierre
American Heart Association