Now that Spring is upon us it’s time to get out there and get moving! The warmer weather offers so much in terms of activities. There’s hiking, swimming, biking, walking, or even playing outside with young ones. Let’s talk about how to fuel yourself for those active days, and what to enjoy after your workout to get the most benefit from your movement and help you recover quickest.
Before a workout, have something with a bit of all macronutrients (carbs, fat and protein). The carbs will give you a quick source of energy, and the protein and fat sustain you and make you feel full for longer. Make sure not to eat too close to working out or you’ll likely feel nauseous. As a rule of thumb I recommend 2-4 hours before your workout you have a meal and then 1-2 hours before is snack time. This is for a fairly intense workout lasting longer than 90 minutes, less than this time period you may just need a small snack before. Some good options before a workout include:
- A piece of toast with peanut butter and a banana
- A small bowl of oats with a few nuts and dried fruit.
- A smoothie with soy milk (high in protein and many people have an issue with dairy)
After your workout is done it’s time to refuel with some protein and carbs. During a workout our muscles release stored glycogen which the body can use as fuel. We need to re-set those stores by consuming carbs. Protein is a helpful component to include as every time we workout we’re essentially breaking down parts of the body and building them up again; protein is needed for this process.
Here are my top picks for post-workout refuelling:
- A handful of nuts with some dried fruit
- A whole-wheat wrap with some hummus and veggies in it
- An apple with some nut butter on it
Something to consider both pre and post workout is your water consumption. Staying hydrated throughout these warmer months is key. I suggest having 2 cups 2-3 hours before your workout, then 1 cup 30 minutes before. If you’re outside keep taking small sips throughout your workout. Then afterwards I recommend consuming 1 cup within 30 minutes of finishing. Whatever your activity of choice, have fun out there and remember to listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs!