What are the best Pre-workout and Post-workout Foods to Consume? Advice from our West Hartford Connecticut Personal Trainer
A lot of our clients ask our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer his advice on what to eat before –and after—a workout.
In fact, should you even eat before or after a workout?
Our personal trainer in West Hartford says it is perfectly fine to eat within an hour or two of a workout but that there are some foods to avoid and some you will want to favor as your go-to foods.
He tells our clients that good nutrition can help your body perform better during and recover faster after each workout.
In general, says our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer, you should know what each macronutrient does, and how it helps the body perform and recover.
Carbohydrates—Our bodies use the glucose from carbs for energy and fuel during a workout.
Protein—Our bodies use protein to repair and restore our muscles. “Protein alone or combined with carbs before exercise has been shown in some studies to increase muscle synthesis,” says our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut.
Fat—Fat is also used as a source of fuel and energy by the body. It is typically used by the body for longer and more duration-intense exercise.
Our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut recommends
that before your workouts, you consider eating the following:
- Whole wheat (or whole grain toast) with fruit
- Greek yogurt and fresh fruit
- Oatmeal and fruit
- Yogurt and fruit-based smoothie
- Sliced fruit with nut butters
The point, says our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer, is to get some good carbs with a little bit of protein in there to fuel your workout.
The foods you should avoid prior to your workout, he says, include the following:
- Leafy greens, raw veggies, flax seeds, fiber cereal, high-fiber breads, beans, hummus, unripe fruit, and any other types of foods that may cause gas or bloating
“You don’t want to be in any type of discomfort while you are exercising,” says our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut. “Save the high fiber foods for later.”
- Anything with extra sugar including gel packs, sports drinks, protein bars, candy
- Anything spicy
“Again, you don’t want to start cramping up during a workout and you don’t want heartburn.”
- Muffins, bacon, scones, cookies, or anything with a lot of fat.
“These foods with a lot of butter or shortening will weigh you down at the gym,” he says.
Our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut says
For after your workout, you want to ensure something that will aid recovery of those muscles, says our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer.
You should want to opt for quality fuel—good quality lean protein with good carbs.
He suggests the following:
- Grilled chicken, lean beef or lean pork with grilled or roasted veggies
- Salmon (or other high-quality fish) with sweet potato
- Tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread
- Egg or egg white omelet with veggies and whole grain toast.
- All natural nut butter (peanut, cashew, almond, etc) with no added sugar on whole grain bread
He recommends you avoid the following post-workout items
- Raw vegetables—not because they aren’t good for you, but because they aren’t enough to aid in recovery afterwards, (UNLESS you pair the veggies with a good source of protein, like a Greek yogurt-based dip or grilled lean meat).
- High fat fast food—fat slows down digestion and we all know there are a lot of empty calories in fast food and not-so-high-quality and not-so-lean protein.
- Salty snacks—Salty things like salted nuts or chips or lunch meat will mess with the delicate fluid balance in your body, post-workout.
- Pizza and anything high in fat—this will slow you down, and not provide what you need to recover.
- Sugary drinks/soft drinks
Nutrition is important all the time when you are talking about healthy lifestyle. Before and after a workout, eating intelligently can mean the difference between an awesome workout and fantastic results, finding time to workout, or a sluggish, lethargic, no-energy workout and horrible recovery. Remember, sometimes it’s easier to start an exercise routine with a friend!