The Right Way To Fuel Your Workouts!

If you are an active person it is important to fuel your body the right way for maximum energy, optimum performance and sound recovery. I believe using nutrient dense whole foods to do this is key. There are some high quality supplements that can support your workouts too.  In this week’s blog post, I am going to share with you the ones I recommend to my clients. 

Photo by Joe Lee http://www.joeleefoto.com

Pre-workout:
Clearly you don’t want to workout on a full stomach, as you will likely feel uncomfortable and sick. The body is designed to do one thing at a time… either prioritizing on working out or digesting the food you just ate, not both. Before you workout (30min - 1 hour prior), have a light snack that contains low glycemic carbohydrates and healthy fats. 

Here are some examples: 
*Apple slices (carb) with 2 tbsp. nut or seed butter (fat)
*1 small banana or 1/2 large banana (carb) with ¼ cup of raw, sprouted or dry roasted nuts (fat)
*1 small sweet potato or yam (carb) baked in coconut oil (fat) - adding cinnamon will help to stabilize blood sugar levels

During workout:
For those of you who like to do long, rigorous workouts such as cycling, you may want to consider making your own “Gu” Energy Gel with the following ingredients and ratios:
1/3 raw coconut oil (optionally heat to soften for easier mixing)
1/3 pure almond butter
1/3 raw honey
Mix into a paste and take 2 tbsp. in a snack bag with you on your workout for when you need the extra energy most.  

Post-workout:
Ideally you want to consume some high quality protein after your workout to repair any wear and tear on your muscles. Examples of healthy choices could include: 
*A protein smoothie (using food sources of protein or a powdered supplement)
*A boiled egg
*A few slices of shaved roast meat (chicken, turkey, beef, ham, lamb)
*A few slices of naturally smoked wild salmon
*Plant protein: cup of lentil soup, ¼ cup trail mix (nuts and seeds), pear slices with 2 tbsp. almond butter, or a protein smoothie etc.  

Drinks:
It is so important to hydrate adequately before, during and after a workout. Pure spring or filtered water is ideal. Optionally add a pinch of sea salt for a mineral boost (I like to add a squeeze of fresh lemon too for alkalinity). You can mix some raw coconut water with plain water to make a healthier “sports drink”, helping to replenish your electrolyte balance. 

Protein powders: These are optional; you can totally be an amazing athlete without them. If you like to incorporate a protein smoothie into your regime, then quality is essential. Opt for organic, food based supplements from reputable brands such as Vega One All In One Nutritional Shake or Jarrow Formulas Brown Rice Protein. Hemp protein is another great choice. In my opinion, when it comes to supplements you get what you pay for. Where possible, get your protein sources from nutrient dense whole foods.  

Contact me for personalized Health Coaching sessions to improve your nutrition, energize your body and create a balanced life you love.