Knowing what to eat is imperative. When to eat it? That matters too. Nutrient timing can play a critical role in muscle recovery and growth, but is often neglected or viewed as something only for bodybuilders. It’s more than just “bro-science” – knowing what to eat before and after a workout can help anyone from the recreational athlete to the hardcore competitor. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge and preparation, and you can make strides in your fitness progress just by making a few simple changes to your pre and post workout routine.
Prior to a hard workout, you want to make sure you are eating a good mix of protein, fat and carbs about 60-90 minutes before your sweat session. This will give you the energy and stamina to give it your all as you hit those weights or take on a high intensity workout. Here are a few options:
- Peanut butter banana protein shake
- Apple and a handful of almonds
- Protein pancakes
- Chicken and sweet potato sauteed in olive oil
If you don’t have time to eat 60-90 minutes before a workout, no sweat! Go for a snack that’s very low in fat, but still a good source of carbs and (if possible) protein. Fat takes a long time to digest, and we don’t want our bodies trying to digest food while we work out. That won’t end well. Try one of these options for a quick fix when you are starving on the way to the gym:
- Banana and protein powder in skim milk or water
- Whole wheat toast with organic jelly
- Nonfat greek yogurt with berries
After a workout, it’s important to refuel your body correctly. While this doesn’t mean you have to chug a protein shake as soon as you complete your final set, this also doesn’t mean going home, getting distracted, and then finally settling down to eat 3-4 hours after your workout. Your muscles are hungry after a workout, so if you’d like to get stronger and recover more quickly, try to consume a meal of protein and carbs 30-90 minutes after a high intensity workout or weight training session. Like we mentioned before, fat is very slow digesting. We want these nutrients to reach your muscles as quickly as possible, so we’re leaving fat out of the equation this time. Try one of these following your next sweat sesh:
- Strawberry, banana and spinach protein shake
- Baked chicken, broccoli and brown rice
- Lean turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
- protein oatmeal
If you’re looking for a protein shake that actually tastes good, you need to try TastyWHEY. It’s an expertly designed protein powder that has 20 grams of protein that your muscles (and tastebuds) will love. It’s rich in fat-burning MCTs, free from fillers, and big on taste.
Now that you know what comprises a good pre and post workout meal, customize these options to suit your tastes!