Whether you begin your day with a sunrise workout or you prefer to exercise in the evening, the question of, “what do I eat before and after,” is something we’re all wondering. Complimenting your workout with the right foods can help build muscle, impact weight loss, aid in muscle recovery, fuel the body, and focus the mind, so it’s definitely worth knowing what to eat.
At DEFINE foods, we know we’re each unique individuals with different metabolism rates, preferences, and routines. This being said, we can cater our pre + post workout fuel to align with our personal needs to ensure we’re on our way to becoming our absolute best.
PRE WORKOUT FUEL
Before focusing on what you need before a workout, it's important to listen to your body! Are you hungry or just thirsty? It's easy to get caught up in what we are told we need before and after workouts, and we may force ourselves to eat before we are ready. If you have a morning workout and it feels better to workout on an empty stomach, there are benefits to that - just make sure to drink lots of water! On the other hand, if you feel better fueling up before a workout, this is just as important to listen to your body so you can be properly energized and maximize your workout.
If you’re body says it’s ready for food, a good rule of thumb is to always focus on foods that are unprocessed and closest to the earth as they come. Whole, plant foods are guaranteed to provide the macro + micronutrients, amino acids, and antioxidants needed to compliment workout efforts.
Carbs + Natural Sugars
The sugars and carbohydrates in a piece of raw fruit or green juice provide energy that digests quickly and won't weigh you down. Raw foods are energizing, hydrating and are great pre-workout fuel if that works well for your body. Some of us, however, do better with cooked meals. If that’s the case for you, a warming grain bowl, or sprouted toast is equally as fueling when paired with nut butter, fruit, and/or honey.
Other pre-workout options include:
- Chia seed pudding
- Toast + avocado
- Fresh pressed juices (we love Juice Society Zest and Hyperlink)
Post workout can leave us starving for protein and healthy fats. A small handful of raw nuts, a spoonful of nut butter, a collagen packet added to your beverage of choice, and a cacao maca energy bite can all be used to hold us over until we are able to eat a proper meal.
Protein + Healthy Fats
Protein packed meals with beans, nuts or nut cheeses, greens, organic eggs and proteins combined with healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil and olive oil are all beneficial for post workout recovery. A few options we love include:
- A vegetable packed salad with nut cheese and olive oil/vinegar
- veggie wraps with nut butter or hummus
- lentil soup
- black beans & brown rice
- quinoa with greens
- organic egg and/or another protein with greens
- green smoothie with plant protein or nut butter
It's all about finding a balance that works with your lifestyle. Instead of focusing on getting the right amount of protein post workout, it's more beneficial to look at your diet as a whole: Are you eating a variety of plants, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains (allergies permitting), organic protein and healthy fats? We like to focus on what you should eat vs. what you shouldn't but it is important to note that limiting processed foods, added sugars and alcohol will greatly improve your performance and results. Try experimenting with a few of our fueling tips and see how your workout regimen will become even more enhanced.