Let’s talk about when and what to eat before a workout…because FOOD matters. That pre-workout meal is what Fuels your fitness and is essential if you want to get the most out of your workouts. The workouts I’m talking about are non-cardio based workouts that involve lifting weights and/or bodyweight. (Pre-cardio food intake can different vastly). Eating before your workout is important because that food turns into fuel allowing you the energy, stamina and focus you need to perform better.
What to Eat:
You’ll want to fuel your body with an easily digested carbohydrate such as fruit and yogurt, toast and peanut butter, oatmeal, a protein bar or protein shake. You can also add some good fats like avocado, almond butter, nuts or seeds. Sometimes I even like to do a veggie omelet. Just be sure not to eat too much or it can leave you feeling sluggish and heavy.
When to Eat:
Try to get in your meal around 60 to 90 minutes before your session, You don’t want to take in your meals too closely to when you start your weight training workout, but I do recommend experimenting with the types of food and the timing of your pre and post workout meals to discover what works best for you.
Eating after your workout is just as important as eating before your workout, as you need to feed your muscles and replenish your system. Eat a small snack consisting of protein and easily digested carbohydrates within about an hour of training and then your next meal an hour or two later.
Just as important as your food is your water intake. Hydration is essential! As women, we should be consuming 91-95 oz/day (approx. 12 cups). I like to start the day and end the day by just chugging 16oz…talk about a way to jumpstart the system and flush things out. You should also increase your water intake before your workout, continue consuming water throughout your workout and give yourself a water boost after your workout. BTW, this image has very little to do with the post other than it’s a hot guy drinking water which I hope inspires you to drink more water too! lol.
I said all of that to say: DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. You lose a lot of water during your workout because we sweat it out and dehydration can lead to decreased performance, amongst other things. The following chart lists recommendations from the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine’s Fluid Replacement Guidelines (1):
If you are attending ANY of my classes, especially ASSLT, then you should absolutely be sure to follow my suggestions above to ensure that you have properly fueled yourself for the fitness beatdown you will encounter!