“Running on, running on empty.” During your workout, have these words from Jackson Browne’s song ever resonated with you? A low energy level, a feeling of “hitting a wall,” or even becoming nauseous are signs that you didn’t give your body the right fuel it needs for good performance (and reduction in frustration).
What you put into your body before and after your workout – or any physical activity, for that matter – is important to help power you through your workout and start the recovery process. This includes being well-hydrated before, during and after your exercise.
We recommend eating a snack about 30 minutes before you begin to exercise and combine carbohydrates and protein, with an emphasis on the carbs. Keep it low in fat and staying around the 200 -250 calories mark. Suggestions include:
- ½ bagel & ½ c. low-fat yogurt
- ¼ c. grapes mixed with ½ c. low-fat cottage cheese
- Small banana
- Whole grain crackers with 1 oz. of cheese
Guess what? It’s just as important to eat after a workout, too. It’s essential to replace the calories you used up. You need to replenish the glycogen that has been depleted during your exercise, and eating protein after a workout is a must for a speedy muscle recovery. It’s even better if you can eat within 30 minutes of finishing your exercise.
However, don’t use your exercise as a reason to over-compensate by eating and drinking more calories than you actually burned (unless you are actually trying to gain weight). Skip the energy drinks, bars and sugary smoothies. Try to keep your post-workout snack around 150-200 calories. Need ideas?
- 1 c. low-fat chocolate milk
- 1 slice whole wheat bread/toast with 1 TBSP peanut butter & ½ banana
- 1-2 hard-boiled eggs with 1 slice whole wheat bread/toast
And – remember to drink water!!
What are some of the “go-to” snacks for the Body Firm trainers?
Doug – hard-boiled egg, mixed nuts, strawberries
Tori – apple slices with almond butter
Sandy – mixed nuts with dates
Benny – whole-grain toast with apple slices, peanut butter & bacon
Charlene – smoothie made with peanut butter, strawberries, spinach & low-fat milk
So….snack – wisely…..and Jackson Browne’s tune will just be a song you hum along with in the car.