When it comes to eating healthy and working out, I rarely fall off the bandwagon. Some of my favorite things in life are leafy salads, green tea, sweaty spin classes and hot yoga. And I rarely miss my 6am workout before heading into the LC offices during the week. But despite being a bit of a health nut, there is one habit I have yet to break…
I’ve never been one to eat before a workout. In fact, I usually just have a few sips of coffee then head straight to the gym. Yes, I know this isn’t the best habit, but I didn’t know just how bad it was until I recently did some research. According to Livestrong, you can maximize your workout as well as your energy throughout the day if you eat the right foods pre sweat sesh. Making sure our bodies get enough nutrients before and after a workout actually helps to keep our immune systems functioning and our blood sugar levels more stabilized throughout the day. Basically, this means that if you’re like me and you tend to exercise on an empty stomach, you’re not fueling your body correctly.
I talked to Lauren’s trainer, Jarett Del Bene, who gave me some great tips to try and foods to eat before and after a workout. Here’s what he recommended…
- If you workout in the morning…
“You need to eat within 30 minutes of waking up so you can jump-start your metabolism.” Try having a few bites of oatmeal or half a banana—having something is your system is better than nothing.
- If you workout in the afternoon…
“Eat a light snack if you are hungry before your workout.” Jarett recommends power foods like a small bowl of oatmeal, a banana, apple slices with peanut butter or muscle milk.
- After your workout…
“Eat within 30 minutes after your workout so your body doesn’t start burning muscle.” It’s important to fuel your body with some form of protein, so grab a handful or almonds or whip up a protein shake. Then, eat small meals every 3 hours throughout. Even If you’re not hungry, you should at least have a small snack. This will prevent you from waiting too long to eat and then overeating because you feel starving.
Livestrong also recommends avoiding foods that are high in fat and anything spicy before working out to avoid feeling sluggish and getting an upset stomach. It’s also extremely important to make sure you are hydrated before you hit the gym. Try to drink two to three cups of water a few hours before you workout and remember to bring your water bottle with you. Then hydrate throughout the day to replace all the H20 you lost while sweating it out.
No matter how you look at it, you should be eating and working out to feel healthy and good about yourself. Take a hint from this Beauty Note post and remember that being healthy is beautiful.
How do you fuel up before a workout?
Share your tips and favorite pre and post workout snacks in the comments below.
For more health and fitness tips, follow Jarett on Twitter by clicking here.