Fueling before and after your workout is just as, if not more important than what you actually do in the gym. In fact, the most common mistake people make when starting or following an exercise plan has nothing to do with their actual workout. Aside from eating clean, consuming lots of protein and being mindful of carbs and fat, the answer really lies in how well you’re going to treat your body before your workout, in order to stay energized, and after to restore and build muscle.
Pre Workout (consume 1-2 hours before your workout)
- 1/4 cup of cottage cheese or greek yogurt topped with 1/2 cup of whole grain cereal (Fiber One and Kashi make excellent choices) and strawberries.
- Protein shake with 1 scoop of natural whey, 1 cup of strawberries, 1/2 cup of soy or almond milk and 1/2 cup of water.
- 1 medium apple or banana with 1 tablespoon of all natural peanut or almond butter (go for almond butter over peanut butter whenever possible).
- 1 piece of protein bread (or whole grain) and 1-2 hard boiled eggs (I usually eat one full egg w/ yolk and one white).
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal and handful of almonds. Can also do yogurt and almonds.
Post Workout (should be consumed as quickly as possible or within one hour of workout)
- 1/3 cup of quinoa, 1 cup of cooked vegetables (2 cups raw) and 3-4 oz of chicken. This is a great way to re-fuel after a high intensity interval training (HIIT) session.
- Omelette with 1-2 whole eggs and 3 egg whites, veggies (can choose any but i usually do spinach, peppers, onions and tomatoes) cooked on Pam and served with a piece of fruit.
- 1 piece of whole grain toast topped with peanut butter and banana. Glass of milk and handful of whole grain salted pretzels… Yes, pretzels and peanut butter! This snack is great after a long-distance run to replenish electrolytes and salt.
- Protein shake with 1 scoop of whey, 1 cup of fresh or frozen berries, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 cup of water.
- 1 orange and 1 hard boiled egg (perfect snack after a low-intensity workout).
Rule of Thumb: Carbohydrates should be used appropriately for energy and protein to rebuild muscle. Expended calories vary in each workout so over-eating or under-eating can easily derail your efforts. Listen to your body and stay in-tune to what it’s telling you. If you’re running out of energy during a workout, increase your calories or carbs before hand. If you aren’t building the muscle you want, increase the amount of protein after your workout.