Pre and Post Workout – What should you be eating?
Fuelling your body before and after exercising is extremely important to ensure that you are getting the most out of your workout.
Not eating before a workout can lead to low blood sugar levels, which makes your body feel tired and dizzy. Maximum energy before exercise is essential, as it allows you to give 100% during your workout. The body converts energy from carbohydrates, therefore foods high in carbs are the best before a workout. Oats are a great source of carbohydrates and are also packed with fibre, which means release of energy is slower and more gradual. The constant flow of energy release means that your energy levels will stay high throughout your workout, allowing you to push yourself for longer. Another easy and quick meal to eat pre workout, is wholewheat toast with a banana on top, again wholewheat toast is an easy to digest carb and releases energy slow and steadily, bananas are packed with potassium, which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function, and keeps nutrient levels high. You could also try a medium sized banana, other fruit of your choice and greek yoghurt, fruit is high in carbohydrates and greek yoghurt is a great source of protein. It is best to eat your pre-workout meal 30-60 minutes prior to exercising so that your stomach doesn’t feel heavy during your workout.
Many people have the mindset of not eating a lot post workout, as they do not want to undo the calories that they have just ‘burnt off.’ Getting a combination of 20+ grams of protein and 20-30 grams of carbs after your workout will help to refuel your body and promote muscle recovery and regrowth, and help to build a leaner body. An easy way to get a high amount of protein is having a protein shake, there is a wide variety of different kinds of protein on the market, including for people with special requirements, such as vegan and gluten free. Eggs are a great source of dietary protein, so a great meal to have a long side your protein shake would be two to three eggs on wholewheat bread, this way you are getting a mixture of protein and carbs. Another great option is chicken and sweet potato, chicken is extremely high in protein, and sweet potato is a great slow release carb, which keeps energy levels high and insulin spike just enough to feed the muscles but not the fat stores. For a vegan/vegetarian option, a great form of protein is Tempeh, just 100g of Tempeh is 19g of protein, Tempeh is made from soy and can be added into many dishes. You could try adding Tempeh into a salad, and also add roasted chickpeas as only 50g of chickpeas have 9 grams of protein.