Fuel UP: Pre- and Post-Workout

Are you confused about what to eat before and after your workout? Are you constantly asking yourself if you should be downing a protein shake right after, or if you should workout on an empty stomach in order to burn more fat? These are common questions that my patients ask me all the time. There is so much conflicting information floating around out there, it is no wonder people are confused.

It’s so important to fuel-up to make the most out of your workouts.

Check these tips out:

·Consider the type of workout. Is it high, moderate, or low intensity? It’s unlikely you will need to eat something before a restorative yoga class, but you should eat if you are about to do a HIIT workout.

·Take note of when you had your last meal. If you work out (moderate to high intensity) first thing in the morning, it is a good idea to have a quick snack since your last meal was the night before. The best pre-workout foods are ones that are relatively low in protein, fat and fiber. These three macronutrients delay the emptying of the stomach and keep you fuller longer. A date and almond butter is a great option. If you work out after work, eat a substantial mid-afternoon snack so that you have the energy needed to sustain your body throughout the workout.

·Experiment. Some people can handle a tiny amount of fiber, such as a brown rice cake with sunbutter or a piece of fruit before a workout, while others thrive on just protein and fat, like a few hardboiled eggs. Trust me, your digestive track will let you know what works for you. Also, experiment with when you eat. Personally, I have to wait at least 45-minutes after eating before I workout.

·Timing is key (especially after a workout). It is important to recharge with protein, a little fat, and carbs within 20 to 60 minutes. Eating within this timeframe ensures that you are refueling your glycogen stores. Ideally, this is a wholesome, real-food meal instead of a protein bar. Try a small sweet potato, a piece of wild caught fish and sautéed vegetables. Another option could be an omelet filled with veggies topped with avocado and salsa. If you do not have time to eat a meal, a protein shake is a great option. Be sure to mix it with some fruit, such as berries or half of a banana, and a small amount of fat, such as chia seeds.

·Hydrate! Some people get hung-up on sports drinks, which can be loaded with unnecessary amounts of sugars and additives. I recommend hydrating with water or electrolyte water before, during and after your workout.

When in doubt, choose real food and listen to your body. If you are following a workout regimen and nutrition plan, but are hungry or exhausted all the time, try making some changes to your diet. Also, be sure to checkout my fave Health & Fitness Apps for 2016 here.