Knowing what to eat before and after a workout is not as easy as you think. You need the right carbs and the right nutrients which are going to give you enough energy to get you through your workout and to perform successfully and then a nutritionally dense meal to balance your body while it is in recovery mode. When heading to the gym carbs are your best friend. They key is to have a mix of complex and simple carbs so your body releases energy slowly and steadily throughout your workout. Here are some suggestions for what to eat pre and post workout for you to try.
Whole wheat toast with sliced banana and almond butter topped with cinnamon
Whole wheat toast and fruit give you both complex and simple carbs and is also easy to digest. Bananas are great for giving your body the potassium it loses through sweating and almond butter will squash your hunger and raise your energy levels. Try adding a kick of cinnamon on top as the spice has been linked to stabilizing blood sugar and improves brain function.
Greek yogurt with trail mix and honey
If you’re getting ready for a long workout then yoghurt is perfect. It is easy on your stomach and paired with trail mix or granola will give your body the energy it needs. Try to choose trail mix that is high in dried fruit, seeds and nuts as dried fruits will give your body that quick energy boost it needs and nuts and seeds will help regulate insulin levels.
Smoothies are the perfect on the go pre workout meal, they are time-friendly and you can pick and choose what you want to go in them. A foolproof smoothie base is to pair your favourite sliced fruit with some greek yogurt, whole milk and granola to thicken it. Tip: use frozen fruit to ensure you’re getting all the essential nutrients and to keep your smoothie cold.
Grilled chicken with mixed roast vegetables and salad
The lean protein in chicken will fill you up without making you feel bloated or sluggish. Add some roast vegetables and a green salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic to fill you up and get those all important vitamins into your body.
Salmon with sweet potato and green beans
As well as being a good protein and a source of omega 3, salmon has bioactive peptides, small protein molecules that help to reduce inflammation, regulate insulin levels and support your joints. Sweet potatoes are not only a superfood but are also a complex carb and help to restore glycogen levels. The green beans will give you that influx of vitamins your body needs daily. A must for long distance runners.
Whole wheat tuna, hummus and spinach sandwich
Tuna is low in calories but high in protein and carbs. Replace butter or mayo with hummus, it tastes better and is also high in fiber. Adding spinach will help curb your appetite, improve your skin, lower blood pressure and help with inflammation. Perfect for those lunchtime workouts.