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The right fuel can:
- give us stamina
- give us energy
- keep our tummy settled
- Timing matters
- Portion size helps
- How digestible the food is really helps
I aim to eat 2 hours before exercise so that I'm not in digestive mode whilst trying to jump up & down. But, due to other commitments, if I am exercising on an evening & can't access the kitchen 2 hours beforehand - you may also see me eating really close to my workout. But what I eat changes.
Portion size helps
The closer to my workout I eat, the smaller the portion size, again for me, this comes down to being able to digest it, and not have it sitting in my stomach whilst my blood is aiming to pump through the muscular system. We all need protein, good fats & complex carbohydrates. The good news is, if you are eating very close to your workout, and especially if you are going to sweat...you can have a simple carbohydrate as it will give you energy, and you'll use it right up! (ideas below)
How digestible it is helps
The more dense a meal is, the longer it will take to digest. Meats, fish & fats will all take longer to digest. Which is a good thing post-workout, to repair us & to stop us craving. But, before exercise, it's great to choose a meal that you can digest easier:
- A slow cooked meal with chicken, & veg
- A soup
- A large smoothie
Ideas & recipes
Here are some ideas if you eat 20 mins before your workout (please note, these are female portion sizes taken from my Goddess recipe book & program):
- a banana & 5 walnuts
- 2 sticks celery with nut butter spread inside
- a breakfast cookie (recipe here)
- 2 squares of dark chocolate & 2-4 brazil nuts
- a 1/2 portion of a smoothie with spinach & berries, hemp seeds for protein (or a clean powder) and chia or coconut for good fats. See a recipe from my recipe book here.
If I am eating 2 hours beforehand:
- My portion size may still be slightly smaller than a usual evening meal.
- I choose carbs like sweet potato for energy or beetroot as it oxygenates our body which is wicked for endurance.
- I am a huge faan of one-pots & soups. I think Sallys tagine in my recipe book is a firm favouite!
- Prep-ahead salads like this one
I hope this has been really helpful for you, if so, please do share it on your social media for everyone to access.
What do you think, would a post-workout blog be useful?