One of the most common questions we receive at Gourmet Fuel is whether it is necessary to eat before and or after a workout. The answer? Both!
Have you ever felt dizzy, nauseous, or flat in the middle of exercising? These symptoms are potentially dangerous as they can lead to lack of concentration and injury. Many people assume these feelings are due to not being hydrated enough, however, a lot of the time it is due to not consuming enough carbohydrates to correctly fuel your body.
Carbohydrates are our bodies main source of energy. We store this energy in the form of glycogen in our muscles and liver, which in turn is used as fuel during exercise! Proper fuelling of your body pre workout will give you the energy needed to train at a higher intensity and achieve the best results possible!
A general guide to pre workout nutrition:
3-4 hours before workout: consume a substantial, balanced meal containing lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. This will ensure a baseline of adequate energy stores in the body.
30 minutes-1 hour before workout: We want to top up our energy stores - avoid large meals, high fibre and/or high fat foods. These take longer to digest and can cause heartburn and stomach cramps during your workout.
Aim for a fast-digesting carbohydrate source and some protein with little to no fat.
- Toast or a piece of fruit with peanut/almond butter
- Yoghurt and fruit
- Cereal/oats with milk
- Lean protein source such as chicken/eggs/turkey and rice/pasta/potatoes
- Our mini meals and 200 calorie treats are the perfect sized snacks to fuel your workout!
If you workout very early in the morning, try drinking an electrolyte drink/fruit juice on the way to your session or leaving a piece of fruit beside your bed to eat as you are getting ready to leave the house.
It is essential to re fuel after a workout. During exercise, our bodies glycogen stores are depleted. Our body needs these stores to be replenished soon for our muscles to rest and recover. Sources vary on the optimal time to eat post workout; a good rule of thumb is to make sure you consume a nutritious meal within 60-90 minutes after you finish your workout.
Just like pre-workout nutrition, it is important that your post workout meal contains carbohydrates to top up these glycogen stores in your body. Protein is also essential, especially in resistance training, to ensure adequate essential amino acids supply to repair muscle fibres so that they can grow!
Aim for a high protein meal with plenty carbohydrates and veggies for optimal recovery.
If you feel too nauseous to eat straight away, try eating a very small meal or snack as soon as you can then follow with a substantial meal 1-2 hours later.
Make sure you are consuming plenty of water too – it is recommended to drink approx. 1.6-2 Litres per day (more if very intense exercise or in a hot climate). Hydration and proper nutrition can help with muscle soreness, optimize muscle mass gain, and reduce fatigue!
If you would like more information or need a steer with exercise nutrition, please do not hesitate to book in for a complimentary nutrition consultation with one of our experts who are always on hand to guide you! Book here