These questions gets asked a lot: “What should I eat before I work out?” and “What should I eat after I work out?”
I was going to dive into all my thoughts on this subject matter, but then I got an email from a respected source that talks about this subject in a more scientific way.
I will share a few thoughts though:
First, it kind of depends on what time of day you’re working out. I work out in the wee hours of the morning, but I don’t want to get up an hour before to eat a complete breakfast! My stomach wouldn’t do well on that anyway. I like to eat half a piece to a whole piece of whole wheat bread, half a banana, or even a Lara Bar. Not all of these. Just one of them. I also drink about 24 ounces of water right when I get up.
If you work out in the morning like I do, you might find that you’re either starving or not hungry at all. And depending on what kind of exercise you engage in, you may be just fine not eating anything. I like to eat something prior just to assure I have enough energy to get through my intense workouts.
I honestly feel that what you eat AFTER you work out is much more important in respect to you goals than what you eat before you work out. Although, what you eat beforehand can really alter your workout. You want to make sure you have enough energy to sustain you throughout your workout.
Your pre workout meal could be your breakfast if you work out around 9ish. Oatmeal with peanut butter and bananas. Bam. Or Scrambled eggs with sautéed veggies. Just make sure your pre workout meal isn’t going to bog you down. This might take some experimentation.
Those of you that work out later in the day, your pre workout meal could possibly be your lunch or your dinner!
In regard to post workout nutrition, I strongly believe that getting a good source of protein afterwards and a complex carb is a great way to fuel up. Your post workout nutrition should help you replenish your energy and help in protein synthesis so make sure you’re getting a good source of protein in afterwards.
For me, if I’m to eat starchy carbs, this is when I get them. I teach this to my clients as well. I teach that you have to EARN your starchy carbs by exercising. This is when you would eat your rice, pastas, breads, oatmeal, etc.
I like to mix up my running….let’s face it, running can get boring. I know I lose motivation if I don’t change it up (especially on a treadmill). If you have hit a lull in your running routine or you want to try something different, definitely check out this run. I really enjoy it and find it fun. This routine makes the miles go by fast.
One disclaimer about this HITT routine is that it is 4.5 miles. I have tested it a few times now and I have had Kjell test it out as well (it’s not 5 miles). Regardless, you still get a killer work out- If you are striving for 5 miles, feel free to add it on. I usually do and feel great afterwards.
This workout is killer! Great for the legs and the glutes. Get yourself ready for a tough workout. Don’t be afraid to go heavy!! I went for 4 sets on everything, but if you’re new to working or aren’t sure where you should start, just begin with 2 sets and low weight. If by the 2nd round you feel you can do it another time through, then go for it!
In this routine, I stick with 1 exercise for the 4 rounds. I don’t superset anything, but you totally can. You can jump back and forth between two of the exercises.
Your butt will be sore the next day so stretch as much as you can afterwards.
If I’m ever in need of some inspiration and motivation, this is the video I watch:
Today was a new start for me because I ate like crap last week and took too many days off from the gym. Even trainers have bad days.
Today I didn’t want to work out when I got to the gym. I felt tired and sluggish (probably because of the way I ate over the weekend). Luckily, I trained my clients first thing in the morning so I got motivated by working them out. After I completed my workout, which was BOMB Diggity, I felt rejuvenated and ready to tackle my goals this week/month.
Listen, if you have a bad day or even a a bad week, no biggy!!! Just start fresh the next day, or even in that moment you realize that you just need a fresh start. Of course, our goal is to remain as consistent as possible (that’s how we reach our goals), but things happen from time to time, and we’ll eat a little more than we should, not workout has hard as we should or often, but again, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed or you can’t continue reaching for your goals.
We slip up from time to time and there is no sense in beating yourself up over it. I sure don’t.