The real question is…what do you eat before your workout? It matters what you eat and when you eat before working out. Depending on the sport can also change the type of food you will eat. From years of playing competitive tennis and training, running, skiing, surfing and cycling, I have learned the hard way and by years of experience. It’s a tricky topic, as everyone digests certain foods differently and many of us have gut issues, which puts a fork in the digestion process all together. Below are some foods I eat before a high- cardio workout and post workout, which is equally as important.
PRE- WORKOUT (Best to eat (not too much food) an hour + before exercising)
Getting ready for a long run or bike ride? Eat some coconut kefir, chia nut milk pudding, yogurt or better throw it all together and make a protein rich smoothie with superfoods and greens. Check out my recipes in my smoothie section, in my book, PROJECT YOU or in my IG feed. Yogurts are easy on your stomach and when combined with a paleo or trail mix (no fillers like chocolates and homemade is best) can give your body just the boost it needs. The healthy sugars from dried fruit provide that quick energy, while the seeds (chia, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame to name a few) and nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews or nut butters etc..) will keep insulin levels from dropping half way through your workout. By adding a teaspoon of Ahiflower oil (powerful vegan omega) to your yogurt breakfast or smoothie will help with overall insulin levels as well as post workout body inflammation. As we all know seeds and nuts go a long way as they are high in good fats, which means they take longer to digest and keep you filled longer. I still recommend always adding the greens (a little spinach or kale) and superfoods (BUSHFOODS-Kakadu Plum, Riberry, Quandong peach, Davidson Plum), Maca, Medicinal Mushrooms or Moringa, as they will give you an amazing energy boost and keep your vitamin and mineral daily intake in check. There are also many energy snacks that you can make at home that will help sustain your energy. I have seen different variations, but I like to make Squirrel Balls….YES this is what I call them. In a bowl I add crushed almonds, cashews, dried blueberries or currents, cherries, cranberries and a few dates, a little raw Manuka honey and bind together with almond butter. Take mix out of the bowl and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper on both sides of Squirrel mix and press down firmly. YUM!
For those of us who can eat wheat and are ready for a gym workout, carbs are what you need to eat. The key is to have a mix of complex and simple carbs that will release energy during your workout in a slow and steady manner. Whole wheat or wheat-free toast (there are some good recipes out there and I will post a great one soon for wheat-free paleo bread. By adding the toast with some almond butter with fruit (banana or berries) gives you both types of carbs and easy digestion. The banana will help keep potassium levels high because as you sweat your potassium levels drop a lot and by adding a pinch of cinnamon or turmeric (or both) has been linked to blood sugar stabilization and improving overall brain function.
POST WORKOUT (Best to eat within 30 minutes to an hour or less after exercising)
Post workout is all about eating good proteins for muscle recovery. Eggs and mushrooms, such as Cordyceps & Reishi are great sources of protein and help with muscle recovery and growth. Omelets are great as you can pack the omelet with vegetables and medicinal mushrooms. Don’t forget to add ½ an avocado on top for fiber and monosaturated fats (the good kind). Like olive oil, avocados help your body absorb fat soluble nutrients that your vegetables have, such as vitamins A, D, E and K which are all loaded with antioxidants. In the end antioxidants are the best boost for your body inside and out. Another option for those who eat grass-fed lean meat, grilled chicken, or fish (salmon) with steamed vegetables or sweet potato which helps restore glycogen levels. If you do not eat meat and are vegan, your best bet is to make an amazing salad filled with plenty of nuts, seeds, avocado, sweet potato, artichoke and quinoa (which fyi is a seed). You can add beans and lentils and top with homemade dressing with olive oil, Ahiflower oil, lemon and a little mustard and black pepper. There are other proteins you can eat, but many are packaged and processed, and I try to stay away from all packaged foods.
Let is know little meals that work for you during your long workouts. We would love to hear about them.