Ever heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”? No matter your workout routine, from yoga to distance running, the food you eat has more power over the way your body builds muscle or burns fat than any exercise.
Nourishing your body with the right foods is such an important part of reaching your physical goals, making the time that you put in working out that much more effective. Whether you’re lifting weights, doing a barre workout, a hot yoga class, or hiking a mountain, what you eat–or don’t eat–can make a huge difference.
So what’s the best way to fuel before and after a workout for best results? We get this question a lot, so read on to learn about fueling your body for optimum performance – the answer may surprise you.
As with cleansing, so with pre and post workout food – there is no one size fits all approach.
If you’re like Jo, you likely will feel best if you follow a yoga class with a little bit of animal protein (can of sardines, anyone?). If you’re like Jules, a green juice will leave you feeling energized and refreshed right after a workout of any kind.
The point being that each of us is unique and our bodies will respond differently to the type of food or drink we give it at any time. But that doesn’t mean that we think you should eat six egg whites every morning. Read on to get our top tips for fueling your body for your workout.
Top 3 Tips for Fueling Your Body for Your Workout
- Avoid processed food. Most of the stuff that’s marketed as pre and post workout food is not really “food” at all. It’s often filled with artificial ingredients, chemicals, and sugar. In place of all the pre-made shakes and bars, make yourself a snack high in healthy fats to keep you fueled and protein to aid in muscle recovery. An apple or some celery sticks paired with some walnut butter or homemade Nut-Free Joy Balls are great options.
- Drink a protein-packed green smoothie. While protein powders have come a long way in recent years, they’re still highly processed and are often high in added sugars. In place of protein powders, try 2-3 tablespoons of hemp seeds or our own homemade protein powder in your favorite green smoothie recipe. Hemp seeds are one of the few plant-based complete proteins, which makes them vital for building lean muscle and reducing soreness after a workout.
- Eat when you’re hungry. Tune into your body as your guide instead of following strict rules for when to eat pre or post workout. This can take some practice and trial by error, but it’s worth it since there’s nothing worse than having a workout or yoga class wrecked by a massive stomach cramp or running out of energy. If you feel best exercising on an empty stomach, you can follow that routine. If your body feels better when you eat before your workout, make sure it’s something easy to digest, high in healthy fats or protein like our Creamy Chia Pudding to keep you fueled through your whole workout.
Now we’d love to hear from you. What food do you eat pre and post workout for best results? Try swapping out your daily egg white omelet for some of our suggestions and let us know how it goes.
Jo & Jules