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Mission Nutrition

BY Guest author, Alessandra
published 28-02-18

Your fitness goals should reach beyond the walls of the gym (or studio) - and straight into your fridge. Why? An uber-easy way to get more from your fitness regime is: eat the right foods, at the right time. Here’s what you need to know…

Eating before your workout

Why you need to eat

Working out on an empty stomach is a bad idea for several reasons. Food is fuel. It gives you the energy you need to push yourself in class. It stops you getting tired. It stops your blood sugar from dropping (which can lead to dizziness and poor coordination). And, with food in your system, your body won’t need to break down muscle to gain energy. A no brainer for boosting your energy levels pre-workout.

When you need to eat

As a rough rule of thumb you need to eat either:

  • A meal between two and three hours before you exercise
  • A snack around half an hour before you exercise

What you need to eat

If you’re having a meal, aim for a well-balanced plate of carbs and protein with a little bit of fat.

For snacks, think wholegrain carbs topped with fruit. The grains give you a steady supply of energy. The natural sugars in the fruit provide a burst of quick-release energy, plus a welcome spritz of fluid. Add in some protein to help your muscles repair any micro-tears they might sustain during the workout.

Try these

  • Wholegrain toast topped with peanut butter and a banana. (The potassium in the banana also helps to stave off muscle cramps)
  • A wholegrain mini-pitta with hummus, rocket and sun-dried tomatoes
  • A small bowl of no-added sugar muesli
  • A small wholemeal wrap with scrambled egg
  • Greek yoghurt (which contains carbs and protein) topped with sliced fruit

Eating after your workout

Why you need to eat

During your workout you lose energy, which needs to be replenished. Sweating means you lose electrolytes (minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium) when you exercise. And resistance training causes muscle damage, which protein will help to repair.

When you need to eat

Try and eat within 30 minutes of finishing your workout – either a snack or a meal.

So remember. Eat. Exercise. Drink. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.