• Alice Clarke

Pre & Post-workout Nutrition: an overview

You're eating well and fuelling your body with all the nutrients it requires to function effectively. Now it is time to fine-tune your intake to ensure that you are performing to your best, the amount you train can only get you so far. If you’re working hard on your regime it’s important to compliment it with a good diet. Learn the best foods to eat before and after your workout to get the most out of your training.


Before Your Workout

When it comes to fuelling your body for your workouts, carbs are definitely your best friend. They provide easily accessible energy for your body and that means you're unlikely to burnout. Consuming complex carbs will keep you fueled for long periods of time, whereas simple carbs are immediately available for your body to use and are helpful for that extra kick of energy. If you’re training hard, you’re also likely to sweat a lot, so consider eating something that has a little salt/mineral too, such as a banana. The timing of your pre-workout meal is also important. To maximize the effectiveness of your workout, try to eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein and fat 2–3 hours before you exercise. If this timing isn't possible, keep in mind that the sooner you eat before your workout, the smaller and simpler the meal should be. So, if you eat 45–60 minutes prior to your workout, choose foods that are simple to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein. This will help prevent any stomach discomfort during exercise. You can boost your energy without causing a food coma by eating something smaller before your workout, such as: o A banana or piece of fruit o Snack/energy bar o Slice of wholemeal toast and an egg/avocado o Small smoothie o and don’t forget to keep hydrated! After Your Workout

Your body will have worked hard for you during your training session, so it's important that you fuel it correctly once you've finished. After your workout, your body is trying to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle proteins. Eating the right nutrients soon after you exercise can help your body repair quickly and more effectively. However, be careful of the ‘I earned this' mentality. Whilst a protein shake or lean protein and toast may help your body repair itself, it doesn’t need that an entire extra meal! Try one of these balanced options within 30 minutes of ending your workout to replenish your muscles without ruining your progress: o Wholemeal toast, peanut butter, ½ banana o Protein shake with berries o Low sugar protein bar or ball Unfortunately, there is lots of contradictory pieces of advice out there when it comes to fuelling your workouts, adding to the confusion. Remember, all our bodies are different, as are our training styles, goals and lifestyles meaning that what you eat surrounding your workouts will also be different. What really matters is finding something that works for you and your routine. You should do what feels good and healthy to you – some people can’t eat at all before a workout, others can’t finish a workout without having eaten before. What is most important is that you’re feeding yourself enough of the vital nutrients to achieve the progress that you want to see.