FITNESS & NUTRITIONFUELLING BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER A WORKOUT

FUELLING BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER A WORKOUT

Fitness & Nutrition, Training, Working Out and Eating - CRACKLY MAGAZINE
By Lucia DiCesare

Glucose is a necessity for energy and needed for exercise. If we consume more glucose then we can use, the excess is stored as glycogen in the fat cells, while too little glucose may leave you feeling burned out and light-headed. So how much do you need?

Most studies suggest 2.5g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight three hours before training to be the most beneficial. This should provide enough time for your digestive system to do its job digesting so that you do not feel hungry during your workout and have sufficient glucose metabolized for energy.

For a morning workout, I would recommend a pre-workout snack about one hour prior. For example, a fresh fruit bowl with full fat, plain yogurt or a smoothie. For an extra boost, try adding Cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds and cinnamon and then follow that up with a post workout meal, which should provide a combination of carbohydrates to replace your glycogen stores and proteins for muscle repair. Eggs with avocado toast is a good choice that includes healthy fats to help sustain your energy.

For an afternoon workout, have your meal two to three hours before your workout. A predominantly carbohydrate meal is best because this will provide you with the energy needed for your workout. A whole-grain pasta or brown rice dish would be perfect. Follow that up with a post workout snack, including mostly protein to aid in muscle repair and recovery. Roasted chicken, tuna or egg salad sandwiches are good options. 

Post exercise tips:

  1. Glycogen recovery is best up to two hours post exercise, so if you do not have time for a meal in this window be sure to grab a piece of fruit or a smoothie with some almond butter or other protein source. The carbohydrate and protein combination have been shown to aid in recovery of glycogen reserves and muscle tissue growth.
  2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Do not bother with sports drinks, because they have too many added chemicals. Plain and simple water is sufficient. But, my favourite recovery drink is coconut water that is naturally loaded with electrolytes and many other nutrients.
  3. Have a healthy protein-based dinner or evening snack. No late-night carbs! If you have a carbohydrate-based meal in the evening, that will metabolize to energy, something you do not want when you’re trying to sleep, right?! But, a healthy fat and protein meal will provide your body with the tools necessary for a healthy recovery. Photo By Meghan Holmes