Fuelling your workout is only necessary if you’re an elite athlete, right?
When it comes to exercise nutrition, it’s easy to get caught up in the belief that it’s only necessary if you’re an Olympic level athlete. In reality however, in order to achieve your fitness goals whether that be running a marathon or even simply a jog around your neighbourhood, the proper fuel can make all the difference to your performance.
Why is good nutrition around exercise important?
It’s simple – carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats provide the fuel to needed to maintain healthy energy levels both pre, during and post workout.
Carbohydrates regulate blood sugar and glycogen levels in your muscles. Protein helps to build new muscle tissue as well as being an energy source and fat provides essential fatty acids as well as energy.
Why do we need a pre-workout meal?
A pre-workout meal is designed to top up your carbohydrate stores as this is your body’s go to energy fuel. The perfect pre-workout meal is a combination of carbohydrates as well as fast absorbing protein such as whey protein. Protein helps to prevent your muscle mass from being broken down during your workout.
Our top pre-workout meals are:
- Greek yoghurt with some berries and a sprinkle of protein powder.
- 1 banana
- Eggs and whole-wheat toast
- 1 apple with 1 tablespoon of nut butter
- Smoothie with 1 cup fruit and 2 cups of vegetables
- ¾ cup Greek yoghurt with 1 tablespoon muesli and ½ cup berries
When to eat? – Anywhere from 3 hours to 30 minutes before you hit the gym.
Why do we need a post- workout meal?
A post-workout meal is designed to replace the kilojoules or energy that you have used up as well as replenish your glycogen stores that you have just torn through during your workout.
Eating protein after a workout is a must for speedy recovery especially after weight training.
It’s important to eat soon after a workout, ideally around 30minutes to 1 hour after completion. This is ideal to get your energy stores back up. If you don’t eat a post-workout meal you can end up battling low blood sugar and fatigue.
Re-fuelling meals should have a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein.
Complex carbohydrates include:
- Brown rice
- Whole-wheat toast
Healthy proteins include:
- lean chicken breast
Our top post-workout meals are:
- Veggie omelette with avocado and1/2 cup roasted sweet potato
- A round while wheat pita stuffed with grilled veggies and 2 tablespoons hummus
- 2 whole wheat crackers with a tablespoon of peanut butter
- 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and ½ sliced banana
So, no matter your fitness level fuelling your workouts can mean the difference in achieving 90 or 100% of your goals.