Before and After Foods: What Should You Really Be Eating Around Your Workout? 0
There are two things we need to discuss: why it’s better to eat something before your workout and the confusion between what’s good to eat before versus after. Many people think it’s best to not eat anything at all before exercising, but we need to view (healthy) food as fuel for our bodies. With this perspective in mind, we want to have enough energy so we can get through our workout. So let’s take a look at how you should be fueling up your body to make the most out of your exercise routine:
When choosing a snack to have before your workout, by before we don’t mean you’re swallowing your last bite just as your begin to do sprints. Generally a good rule of thumb is to eat 30 minutes before you begin your routine. Another key point to be aware of is that this is not the time to experiment with new foods. You want something your body is familiar with so that it can be easily digested and used as fuel. The last thing you want is your body trying to figure out what to do with that foreign substance in your stomach and getting sick while you’re trying to start your jumping jacks. It’s also great to add liquids to your pre-workout snack, which is why we love the idea of having a protein smoothie - add some spinach, banana, berries, almonds, and water to a blender. You can get really creative with this - the point is to have simple and complex carbs, and an amount of protein to fuel your workout. Other options we like are a piece of whole wheat toast with almond butter, a sliced banana, and some cinnamon - or try out some crackers with hummus if you want something a little more savory. Additionally, to keep it simple, slice up an apple and add some almond butter!
So now that you’ve busted your butt and ran through all of your energy during your workout, we want to give you something that will not only replenish your body but act as a recovery method to all the muscles you just worked out. As we focused on the carbs with some protein before the workout, we now want to consume more protein with some carbs added to the mix. Again, eat your post-workout meal within a half hour (to an hour) after you’ve finished your routine. We’re going to add a protein smoothie to the list of options again - except this time around, up the protein intake by adding a scoop of your favorite powder. Additionally, other great choices are fish (salmon) over a bed of greens or some quinoa with steamed veggies. You can get really creative with options here, but again, the most important takeaway is that you definitely do want to eat pre- and post-workout.
The term superfood implies it may have superior value to other foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. So when we think of the kinds of benefits we want from this exclusive category of foods, typically we expect it to have an impressively high amount of nutrients—vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Simply put, it helps give us that extra boost towards good health and well-being. No one knows your body better than you, so by now you might have a pretty good idea of what foods keep you lagging and tired, and we all know how energizing and rewarding it can be after eating healthy, natural, and nutrient-rich foods. Potentially the greatest advantage in eating superfoods regularly is that it’s a super-easy way to live a healthy lifestyle by consuming natural foods. The great news is you’re probably already eating some of these now! Take a look at our list of favorite superfoods and see if you can’t incorporate them into your daily diet!
Almonds contain soluble fiber, are high in monounsaturated fat while low in saturated fat, contain magnesium, and have no cholesterol—try a handful of almonds a day
Apples have no cholesterol, they do have soluble fiber, and can help keep you slim and clean your teeth while you’re at it! Like they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away
Avocados…where do we start?! They contain 10-25% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E. This is a food that’s high in healthy fat—you only need to eat about 1/5 of an avocado to get a full serving
Beets have betaines! Never heard of it? They help stimulate functions of the liver—in addition they have no cholesterol and are high in both Vitamin C and fiber
Blueberries—can you say antioxidants? A single cup gives you 10 times the USDA’s recommendation! Additionally, being part of the berry family means they have a relatively low GI—that’s glycemic index, which helps keep your blood sugar level from spiking
Broccoli will take care of your daily recommended intake for Vitamin K and Vitamin C—and then some! Coming in at 245% and 135% of the DRI respectively, try having a cup of cooked broccoli. Steaming it? Even better!
Chia Seeds. The good? High in Calcium and Phosphorus. The great? Even higher in Fiber and Manganese. Try adding two tablespoons into a fresh fruit smoothie
Eggs are high in cholesterol, but now that we know saturated fat has a much higher impact on blood cholesterol, go ahead and have a preferably hardboiled egg and get a quick 7g of protein!
Flax Seeds are another great addition to a smoothie or even oatmeal. A lot of good is packed into two tablespoons—omega-3, fiber, protein, Vitamin B1, Manganese, Magnesium, and the list goes on!
Garlic contains both antibacterial and antiviral properties—several different compounds help your body’s circulatory, digestive, and immunological systems. They make excellent seasonings to plenty of dishes, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get at least half a clove of garlic on your plate!
Hemp Oil CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, not to mention can help relieve that annoying nauseous feeling—try having about 25mg twice daily
Kale stands for K—Vitamin K that is, since one cup of these cooked greens comes in at a whopping 1180% of the daily recommended intake! Eat some as the main part of a salad or hide it in a fruit smoothie
Salmon is considered an oily fish, which is why it’s so high in omega-3 fats, not to mention being high in protein, so cook up 2 to 3 ounces of salmon—the next two foods make great side dishes!
Sweet Potatoes have got you covered with over twice the amount of Vitamin A you need for the day, on top of fulfilling half of your Vitamin C and Manganese requirements. And there’s more! This yummy food is also high in Copper, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Biotin, Potassium, Fiber, Vitamin B3, B1, B2, and Phosphorus. Phew!
Tomatoes—let’s talk more antioxidants, specifically lycopene, which has been linked to bone health. Slice half a tomato to put over a salad, or get cherry tomatoes for a quick snack!