You hear that you should ‘eat around your workouts’ but are you still wondering WHAT you are supposed to be eating and WHEN? Here are some answers to those questions!
Not everyone is created equal and the same is true for workouts and workout times. Some of you may prefer to get up early and have your workout done before most of us even consider opening our eyes. Others are night owls and want some extra sleep, so they prefer to workout mid-morning. Then there are those of you that hit the gym in the evening or on your way home from work. Regardless of each person’s preferences or schedule, YOU NEED TO EAT BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT.
Morning Warriors: I know it’s early and you don’t want to eat because you are worried about getting sick to your stomach, or you’ve heard somewhere that it’s better to workout in a fasted state, or you just don’t want to get up any earlier to have to get in a meal. Well, guess what? You NEED to eat before your workout. When you work-out on an empty stomach, your body breaks down muscle BEFORE fat. High intensity workouts on an empty stomach do NOT help burn fat! Here are some suggestions:
- Carbohydrates and protein are what your body needs!
- Drink at least an 8oz glass of water with your food (great time to add in your pre-workout supplement!)
- Have a protein shake or smoothie-and make sure to add in those healthy carbohydrates
- Greek yogurt is an excellent go-to!
- Keep the fat intake low because it takes too long for your body to break down fats (except coconut oil)
Afternoon Champions: You need to have food too, but hopefully you’ve already eaten during the day and your body is ready. Try not to eat large meals within the 1-2 hours before your workout. Your body needs time to break down the food. Here are some suggestions:
- Liquids are digested faster than solids – think protein smoothie!
Log your meals / snacks in My Fitness Pal under specific names and timing
- Focus on carbs and protein – with little-to-no fat
- Unsweetened apple sauce is a great pre-workout that can be eaten just before you begin warming up
Whichever time of day you choose to workout, every person needs to replenish AFTER. It is most ideal to consume protein and carbs within 30 minutes of your workout. A quick and easy go-to is your Post-WOD supplement shake for a perfectly equal portion of protein and carbohydrates. Don’t have a protein shake? That’s okay, according to HSN’s R.D. it is most important to replenish carbs first – so grab a banana and eat up!!