Choosing the right food and nutrients before exercising can make all the difference to your energy levels during a workout. And what you eat after is just as important – for muscle and energy recovery! Here are my favourite foods to eat before and after exercising – to make sure you get the most from your workout!
Remember, food can only work as fuel once it has been absorbed – so make sure you have enough time to digest properly (a full meal 3-4 hours or light snack 1-2 hours before training) – then jump into the gym!
This is where carbohydrates come in. So many people still think of carbs as “bad” and avoid them all together. But good carbs, the right kind, are a workout’s best friend. Think whole grains, gluten-free grains, starchy vegetables, oats, low-GI fruits, beans and legumes. They are the body’s main source of energy and are exactly what you need before you go for a run or head to a pilates class.
Here are a few of my favourite snacks to have 1-2 hours before I workout:
- 1/2 banana with 1 tbsp of nut butter.
- 2 brown rice cakes with avocado, ricotta/cottage cheese and sliced tomatoes.
- 1 piece of rye or sourdough toast with avocado or nut butter, banana and honey.
- 1/3 cup of oats with yoghurt, honey, and cinnamon. Or try my Salted Caramel Oats or Nutella Oats!
- Protein Mousse Detox Truffle (sometimes instead of making truffles I slather it on apple slices or mix in a few berries).
- Veggie sticks and hummus.
You should aim to refuel within 30-60 minutes of finishing training. Your body is now craving protein to replenish and rebuild the muscles that have just been worked.
Here are a few of my favourite protein-rich post-workout options:
- 1-2 boiled eggs.
- Poached chicken or turkey.
- A clean smoothie – Try my signature Power Protein Smoothie.
- Natural yoghurt with a scoop of natural protein powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a sprinkle of nuts and seeds
- Protein Balls – Try my Sugar-Free Protein Balls or Coconut and Lemon Protein Balls, both delish!
- My JSHealth Protein Pancakes – So easy and inexpensive! Sometimes I even have them for dinner after a yin yoga class.