I can’t stress it enough: an essential component to a fitness lifestyle is food- healthy food. But it’s not just about what you eat, it’s when. Food is fuel. Fueling your body with the right carb/protein/fat ratios will play a role in both the efficiency and effectiveness of your workouts. So don’t just go out and grab a candy bar and consider yourself adequately gased up.
So what should you use to fuel and when?
2 hours prior to your workout eat a carbohydrate heavy (60%) meal. Think baked chicken and quinoa or grilled fish and wild rice with veggies.
RECIPE: Sriracha Oatmeal & Egg with Avocado
RECIPE: Quinoa with Cucumber
No time for a real meal? Eat something that your body can easily digest like a protein drink or protein bar.
30 minutes before your workout, eat healthy carbs like a banana
Consistently Hydrate! Remember to take small sips as opposed to guzzling an entire 8oz serving in order to avoid cramping.
Consider electrolytes, IF you are doing an intense workout, you may need fuel to maintain your energy and keep burning more calories. But you don’t want heavy foods or drinks. Try a refresher like half water/half fruit or tomato juice, or a sports drink.
Forget fiber during your workout as it may upset your stomach while you’re moving around, so save the fiber for later.
If you ever feel faint during your workout, you should immediately take a break, drink a cup of water, and consume some carbs- like an apple or orange juice.
30 mins to 2 hrs after you workout, eat a protein heavy (60%) meal. If your next meal isn’t for several hours, at least be sure to refuel with a small snack like a small handful of nuts (almonds are best) and dried unsweetened fruits.
Keep in mind though that in order to maintain or lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. Translation: a 45 minute/350 calorie-burn cardio session does not warrant the devouring of an entire bucket of KFC grilled chicken (fried chicken is pretty much out of the question).