EGGS: “The whole egg, too. Packed full of protein and amazing benefits, throwing away the yolk is a big no no. It’s packed full of essential nutrients”.
SPIRULINA: “Antioxidant rich foods such as dark leafy greens, berries and superfoods such as spirulina and acai are good pre-workout to help combat the oxidative stress created by training – this boosts the immune system and helps protect against signs of ageing.”
BLUEBERRIES: “Berries have a lower glycemic index than other fruits and will therefore not cause such a dramatic spike in your blood glucose levels. They are also very high in antioxidants which will help to repair free radical damage caused by exercise”.
AVOCADO: “Aim for a balance of protein, fats and low GI carbs – Avocado, hummus and tomato on German rye Toast is a simple breakfast, or lunch option on a workout day.”
A NUTTY/SEEDY SMOOTHIE: “Seeds and nuts are high in protein and good fats, which will mean they take longer to digest. But eat too many & you could feel yourself slowing down and feeling sluggish as you work out. Blending them up to make the smoothie or shake helps to speed up their digestion. a homemade greens & super-food smoothie or a nutty shake. Both of which, with the right ingredients, can provide a quick and easy to digest hit of good carbs, fibre, protein and water. The healthy sugars from the fruit provide a quick energy boost while seeds and nuts will keep your energy levels from dropping mid-workout.”
CHIA SEEDS: “Chia seeds have been found to support hydration and electrolyte balance which may be helpful for those who are busy and active and lose fluid through sweat.” “2 tbsp of Chia seeds contains: 5 times the amount of calcium that milk has. 3 times the amount of antioxidants that blueberries have. 3 times the amount of iron in spinach. 2 times the amount of fibre in oatmeal. 2 times the amount of protein of any other bean, seed or grain, great for building muscle. 2 times the amount of potassium in a banana.”
PEANUT BUTTER & WHOLE GRAIN TOAST: “Whole-grain toast with banana gives you both types of carbs and is really easy to digest so you’ll have energy for your workout but it’s not heavy so you won’t feel too full or bloated. The banana and whole-grain bread are both complex carbohydrates so will slowly release energy. It’s great for runners, especially as bananas are full of potassium, which your body loses when you sweat a lot.”
VEGGIE & PROTEIN- PACKED PASTA: “Post-workout food should be consumed, ideally, within an hour after completion. Again, this should be a balance of protein, to repair your muscles, and carbohydrates, to replace energy used. I always recommend meals such as pasta with meat sauce, fish and vegetables or red meat and vegetables. For vegetarians, pasta with meat alternatives are great, as well as vegetables such as broccoli and spinach as these will give you iron to gain back your strength.”
NUTS: “If you are looking to lose body fat, avoid fruit before you train as this has a negative effect. Avoid low fat foods and if you can’t pronounce the ingredients on what you’re eating, don’t eat it! Nuts are wonderful sources of healthy fats that help your body maintain the blood sugar level stable for long periods. Before workout they are great with an organic espresso. Think organic almonds or a few macadamia nuts”.
LEAN WHITE MEAT WITH BROWN RICE: “Some experts advise switching to high GI white rice post-workout in order to replenish energy stores faster, but in my opinion, always avoid white rice for a sleek, slimmed down bod.”
HOMEMADE FRUIT SMOOTHIE: “I think a smoothie is good fuel for training when you choose healthy, home-made fruit options. Use banana – a good energy source that’s packed with potassium. The body doesn’t store potassium long which makes it a good option. Or try oats – a good source of fibre and B vitamins that contain complex carbs for slow absorption and sustained release of energy.
GREEN SMOOTHIE: “After class I’ll rehydrate with coconut water and a large smoothie, preferably ‘green’ so packed with ingredients like spinach, kale and cucumber and enhanced with a shot of ginger. If dinner is too far away I’ll grab a bag of popcorn or better still a bowl of my homemade beetroot chips to tide me over. The key is to eat foods that will make you feel ready to go for your workout and don’t ruin all your hard work after”.
WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL: “The ideal pre-workout meal is consumed about two hours before exercise, contains about 300-500 calories, and is composed primarily of healthy carbohydrates. If you don’t have time to eat two hours before, a quick 50-100 calorie snack 5-10 minutes prior to exercise will also be effective. Try a small bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal, or even sweet potato or yam as a pre-workout meal eaten two hours before your workout.”
GREEN VEGETABLES: “Think kale, broccoli and spinach. Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. Full of enzymes primed to help you lose fat and feel great! They are a rich source of minerals”.
BANANAS: “Bananas are the number one fruit for some of the world’s best athletes and it’s no surprise why: just eating two bananas before a workout provides you with enough energy for 90 minutes of strenuous exercise.
They’re great fuel pre-workout as they’re packed with essential nutrients your body needs – especially before exercise. Bananas contain digestible carbohydrates, natural sugars and potassium: all of which help give you a sustained and substantial boost of energy.
Eating a banana half an hour before will help ensure your muscles have enough energy to power through your workout as well as preventing a drop in blood sugar levels, which could lead to light-headedness and fatigue.”
NUTS & DRIED FRUITS: “Straight after an intense workout many calories can be lost. Those looking to recover fast will need to replace this lost energy. Nuts such as almonds or walnuts can provide lots of energy is small handfuls. They are also a great form of healthy fat and protein. Adding some dried fruit will ensure glycogen levels are rapidly replenished, ready for the next workout.”
LENTILS: “Lentils are a super source of sustained carb release. They’re also high in protein where non-meat sources are concerned, so ideal for veggies looking to sculpt a firm, toned figure.”
SALMON: “Salmon is one of the best things to eat, it keeps you lean and healthy and is super high in protein. It also has Omega 3’s that help fight against diseases.”
GREEN TEA: “30-60 minutes before training, aim for a balance of medium GI carbs such as a banana followed by some nutritious protein and fats such as 1 handful of nuts. Add a little dark chocolate (4-6 squares) or 1 strong cup of green tea to boost fat burning potential (if that is the goal” )
GREEK YOGURT: “This is an excellent source of both complete protein and natural carbohydrate. The natural sugar is absorbed quickly helping speed up recovery. It also provides a protein boost helping reduce muscle breakdown.”
RICE CAKES: “If you plan on doing weight-bearing exercise during your session or class, you need to fuel your body with a good source of carbohydrates. If you’re on the go, wholegrain rice cakes are a quick and easy way to grab your carbs before you hit the weights. Top with sugar free peanut butter or low fat cream cheese for an extra tasty snack.”
HOMEMADE FRUIT AND CHIA SEEDS: “Fruits all contain different antioxidants vitamins and minerals so a good mix in your diet can tick of a few nutritional boxes; Try banana, kiwi, blueberry, pineapple and orange for an antioxidant rich, anti-inflammatory, muscle repairing mix that’s also full of Vit C, fast acting carbs, and with some Chia seed sprinkled over the top could contain a heap of protein, omega 3 and more.”
MILK: “Rather than water or sports drinks, try milk. There’s been lots of research about the benefits of drinking milk post-workout and, although it may sound strange, milk is great at helping gain muscle, increase fat loss and helping you rehydrate after exercise. Compared to water or most sports drinks, milk has nearly double the amount of carbohydrates and protein, which are key for muscle growth Post-workout, the calcium in milk helps reduce stored fat as well as increase the rate our bodies break down fat. Finally, the high water content in milk helps to replace fluids lost as sweat”.
MACA & CACAO: “Maca (a superfood beloved by the Incas and Peruvians) and cacao are both great pre-workout energy boosters and an excellent alternative to coffee. Add maca or cacao powder to a smoothie or shake.”
TURKEY BREAST: “Protein is a vital post-workout nutrient as your body is craving essential amino acids (found in protein) to help repair the damage caused by exercise. Turkey is very lean and easy to digest which means the vital nutrients will be transferred into your body much quicker than in red meats”.
RICE PROTEIN POWDER: “Aim to eat a post-exercise snack within 60mins – a quality protein in a shake form is ideal for optimal absorption. Pea or rice protein powders are natural vegan sources that are great for everyone, and easily digestible.”
FRESH ORANGE JUICE: “Orange Juice – but not from concentrate is a great post-workout choice. Fresh unadulterated fructose (fruit sugar) is all natural, and will help to refuel your empty muscles without polluting your body with additives and preservatives”.
WHEY PROTEIN: “Liquid whey protein is ideal post—workout because it is digested quickly. Whey supports protein synthesis and tissue repair.”