Eating and Exercise - Pre & Post Workout Foods

There are two food groups that are really important when it comes to fuelling your body before and after exercise.  Carbohydrates play a vital role in ensuring you have enough energy to exercise efficiently as well as providing your body with the energy it needs to repair afterwards.  Protein is essential in equipping your body and muscles the right tools to repair and recover after exercise.  When I was rowing competitively, I never quite grasped this concept, always making it more confusing than it needed to be.  I was far too interested in the peanut butter and Nutella toasties we used to eat in between sessions!

It’s really quite simple…
Carbohydrates provide energy
Proteins heal, repair and stimulate muscle growth

How and when you eat them in relation to when you exercise is something to take note of…

Before you exercise you need enough energy to last the duration of your workout – for this, slow release carbs are perfect.

After exercising you want enough energy from carbohydrates to refuel, plus protein, which will give your muscles what they need to repair

BEFORE – SLOW RELEASE CARBS & A LITTLE PROTEIN – TO BE EATEN 2HRS PRIOR TO EXERCISING

Carbs
Sweet potato
Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa
Non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, spinach and kale
Pulses & legumes

Protein
Nut butters
High quality protein shake
Pulses & legumes

AFTER – PROTEIN & CARBS – TO BE EATEN IMMEDIATELY - 60MINS FOLLOWING EXERCISE

Proteins
Eggs
Lean meats
Fish
Nuts/nut butters
High quality protein shake

Carbs
Banana
Starchy vegetables
Smoothie

The list of foods above is not prescriptive - they are merely suggestion and can be made into a delicious meal using herbs, spices and other foods.

It is extremely important to hydrate before, during and after your workout, so make sure you drink plenty of water.