What to Eat and When to Eat It: Fueling your body well.


Wondering what you should eat before and after you workout? There’s a LOT of (mis)information out there and it’s difficult to discern what works and what doesn’t. Just remember this: each eating opportunity should have a protein, carbohydrate, and a fat. That goes for before your workout and after it too!

Fueling exercise requires quality carbohydrates, lean protein, heart-healthy fats, and fluids. Your muscles rely on carbohydrate foods like breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables for a quick energy source. Protein is needed to build and maintain muscles and for healthy blood cells. Blood cells deliver nutrients and oxygen to working muscles.

The ideal pre-sport meal has five characteristics:
  1. Low fat
  2. Moderate in carbohydrates and protein
  3. Low fiber
  4. Contains fluids
  5. Made up of familiar, well-tolerated foods.
A banana with peanut butter is one of my FAVORITE pre-workout meals.
Muscles need protein for recovery and growth, and research shows that the best time to deliver protein is right after exercise. Providing high-quality protein after exercise gives your muscles the fuel and the building blocks needed for both repair and for growth.
There’s a lot of hype over protein shakes and powders, but your body doesn’t play favorites when it comes to nutrients. Your protein could come from a hard-boiled egg, glass of chocolate milk or a protein shake. Whatever you choose, more isn’t better — only 10 to 20 grams of protein is needed to provide amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to muscles.

For my post workout meal, I avoid fruits and stick with vegetables. I also eat a good pure protein like quinoa or a scoop of almond butter, or a handful of nut & seed trail mix.

Nutrition is a very individualized component of fitness. What’s good for me may not be good for you! If this is all a bit too confusing for you, I can help you out or suggest a specialist to sit down with to determine what exactly you need to eat for optimal health. You can contact me here with questions and I’ll be happy to help you.