The Importance of Proper Fuel Before & After Your Workout
by Hollis Lotharius
To optimize your performance, you need to eat – no excuses! You need to eat before, and especially after, each workout session. Smartly timed snacks have the ability to provide your body with the fuel that it needs to gain muscle, burn fat and recover as best as it can. Here’s our guide to what, and when, you should eat to get the most out of your workout.
- Consume 30 to 60 minutes prior to activity.
- Make it a snack – only 150 to 200 calories.
- A combination of carbohydrates and protein, with an emphasis on low-glycemic carbohydrates (about 70% of the total calories).
- Keep it low in fat – fat takes the longest to digest and will slow the absorption of much needed nutrients.
- Avoid high fiber foods – gas pains may slow you down and send you in search of the bathroom rather than a heavier weight.
- ½ slice of whole wheat bread with a smear of almond butter
- ½ banana with ½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
- A few baby carrots with a small handful of raw almonds
- ½ cup low fat cottage cheese with ¼ cup sliced grapes
- ½ sweet potato with 3 ounces sliced turkey meat
- Consume immediately or at least within 60 minutes after concluding your workout.
- During this time, your muscles are primed to accept nutrients that can stimulate muscle repair, muscle growth and muscle strength.
- Doesn’t need to be large – 200 to 300 calories is sufficient.
- Like the pre-workout snack, include a combination of carbohydrates and protein and keep it low in fat.
- 20 to 25 grams of lean protein. Whey protein is ideal; it is absorbed into the bloodstream faster than other sources of protein. Faster absorption = enhanced benefits.
- protein shake from the Fuel Bar at Barry’s Bootcamp
- whey protein shake – protein powder of your choice mixed with water
- chunky monkey shake – 1 small banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 cup low fat chocolate milk blended with ice
- ½ cup low fat Greek yogurt with ¼ blue berries and almond slices
- ½ whole grain bagel with 2 egg whites
- brown rice cake, smear of almond butter topped with raisins
- light tuna salad with a small handful of flax seed crackers
Hollis Lotharius is currently an instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp in San Diego, California. Her entire career has been focused on helping others in health, exercise and nutrition. Hollis holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from California Polytechnic Institute, San Luis Obispo. While in college, she competed on Cal Poly’s triathlon club team all four years of attendance and was elected Team President both her junior and senior years. In addition to teaching at Barry’s, Hollis has previously taught Body Pump and indoor cycling classes. Hollis is an I.S.S.A. certified fitness trainer. Prior to joining Barry’s, she dedicated three years, two as Store Manager, to the success of the lululemon athletica store in La Jolla, California.