When it comes to eating to fuel your body, nutrient timing is everything. The purpose of nutrient timing is to optimize your body’s performance by strategically planning out your pre and post workout snacks along with the rest of your meals and snacks for the day. Eating right isn’t just about calories in and calories out. It’s about getting the right combination of macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates) at the right time and keeping your blood sugar stable. In this post, we will cover pre-workout and post workout nutrition. Note that when it comes to workout time, your goal is to have readily available fuel in your system to optimize your workouts. You’ll notice that a lot of foods listed are low-fat. Don’t be confused, healthy fats are necessary in your daily nutrition, just not optimal for pre and post workout meals. You should consult your physician or dietitian if you have special dietary needs.
Pre Workout Nutrition-It’s important that you come into your workouts properly hydrated and fueled. If you haven’t eaten a meal within two to three hours of your workout, consider having a carbohydrate dense pre-workout snack. Avoid simple sugars as they can cause an insulin response that can make you crash mid workout. Avoid fat and fiber as they slow digestion and hinder your body’s ability to utilize the fuel (note-fat and fiber are great to incorporate in your other meals and snacks). Your pre-workout snack should be approximately 100-200 calories. Ideas: 16 oz. water bottle AND
- Low fat granola bar
- Low fat Greek Yogurt
- Low fat Cereal Bar
- Half a turkey sandwich with no cheese and mustard
- Low-fat cereal bar
Post Workout Nutrition-Your body needs protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of your workout. This is when your muscles are primed for nutrient uptake. Studies show that people who adhere to this rule experience less soreness and repair better for their next workout. Your post workout snack should be low in fat and fiber (remember-they slow absorption) and about a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Ideas: Water 16 oz AND
- Whey Protein Shake made with a cup of skim milk or almond milk and a frozen banana, try adding some kale or spinach
- 8-12 oz. of low-fat chocolate milk
- Turkey sandwich with mustard and no cheese
- Low fat Greek Yogurt (full sugar, not light)
- Kefir-tart yogurt drink
Hydration-Many of us underestimate our daily hydration needs. A good place to start is 64-100 oz. of water. Then, weigh yourself before and after your workout. Replenish all fluids lost during your sweatfest by consuming 16 oz. of water for every pound lost on top of the 64-100 oz. baseline.
Tune in next week for meal and snack ideas!