Exercise is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle. If you want to get the most out of your workout it is not only important to be consistent and disciplined but also to fuel your body with the right food. You need energy to burn calories and starving yourself before or after working out can negatively affect your body and health. To get the best out of your workouts, I am going to share with you my top 5 foods for fueling your workout.
The golden rule for exercising: Never eat a big meal before a workout. If you are having a full meal before a workout, be sure to allow at least 2 hours after you finish eating but ideally 3. Here are my top snacks to fuel your workout that can be eaten 30 minutes before:
- Handful of Almonds (other nuts)
- Greek yogurt with honey
- Apple with peanut butter and cinnamon
- Green smoothie or berry smoothie
- Handful of dried fruits
- Protein bar (organic)
- Rice cake with almond butter
- Crudité with tahini dip
After exercising your body needs nourishment to heal and repair. The best way to do this is with fresh, healthy and nutritious food. Your body needs good nutrition and protein post-workout so be sure to select foods that are fresh and clean. Good clean sources of protein include fish, eggs, grass-fed meat, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.
Here is a quick list of amazing post-workout foods:
- Whole wheat sandwich with tuna, hummus and spinach
- Veggie omelette with avocado
- Grilled chicken, mixed vegetables and side salad
- Chocolate milk (almond or cow)
Best sources of carbs for fueling your workout
It is a common belief that carbs make you fat and so most people have a tendency to avoid carbs when they are training or want to lose weight. The thing is, not all carbs are bad for you. When you choose the right carbs, you will feel fuller longer and have more energy, which is perfect for any exercise regime. Here is my list for amazing sources of good carbs to help you fuel your next workout:
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole wheat
- Sourdough bread
- Brown rice
Best post-workout smoothie
After an exhausting workout it is important to refill your energy stores to avoid muscle cramping or muscle twitches. This smoothie is the perfect post workout snack and will help your body regenerate fast. Avocados and bananas are full of potassium; pineapple is a great source of the enzyme bromelain which helps to reduce inflammation. Coconut water is high in antioxidants and minerals and turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory properties to enhance muscle repair.
½ ripe avocado
1 cup pineapple (fresh or frozen)
1 small banana
1 tbsp. peanut butter
½ tsp. turmeric
1 cup coconut water
5 ice cubes
Put all ingredients into your and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Best protein sources
My top food for fueling your workout isn’t a food as such, but Protein. Protein will help to rebuild your muscles after exercising and prevents soreness and stiffness in the muscles. Protein comes in many forms both from animal and plant sources. Whenever choosing a protein always try to get the best quality possible, especially with animal products. Here are my top recommendations for protein sources post-workout:
Plant based sources: beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, nut butters, dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, broccoli, spirulina powder, tempeh
Animal protein sources: beef, chicken breast, salmon, tuna, lamb, eggs, whole milk, yogurt, cheese (raw)
What do you eat before working out? What do you eat after exercising? Do you have a recipe you would like to share? Please do so by commenting below. I’d love to hear your favorites!