If you're spending hours in the gym trying to reach your fitness goals, but aren't quite there yet, there are small changes you can make to your diet that will be a world of difference to not only your energy levels but your recovery process.
We've teamed up with our friends at Genesis Fitness to help identify the best foods for your pre and post workout to maximise your fitness routine.
Before Your Workout
If you choose not to have a meal or snack prior to doing a workout, it could make you feel dizzy, lightheaded and increase the chances of injury. Even if you feel none of those symptoms, skipping this important pre workout meal can have a negative impact on your performance. Here's some foods to scoff down before hitting the gym:
Whole Wheat Toast with Sliced Banana
A piece of whole wheat toast gives you both types of carbs with the bonus of being super easy to digest. When looking for a topping, bananas are perfect in raising potassium levels, which drop when you sweat a lot. For an added bonus, add a dash of cinnamon to help stabilise blood sugar or blueberries and chia seeds to support heart health.
Greek Yogurt and Trail Mix
Greek Yogurt eases the stomach and when paired with trail mix its the little oomph your body needs. Just make sure you're choosing trail mix that isn't high in sugar. Look out for hidden inclusions of dried fruit and chocolate pieces. It's best to just make it yourself. Head to a bulk health food store and grab a selection of dried nuts for the best topping! Seeds and nuts are high in fat, which means they take longer to digest.
It's the perfect on-the-go snack. The trusted smoothie is so quick and easy to make and packs a punch to keep you exercising for longer. Load it up with berries, spinach, greek yogurt, oats and milk to keep you fuller for longer.
Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit
Oatmeal is your workout friend. It's hardy and gradually releasing sugar into your bloodstream while you break a sweat. Adding blueberries, green apple or strawberries into this bowl of goodness will keep up your fluid.
Apple Wedges with Almond Butter
If you're after something sweet before your workout, don't reach for the lollies, grab an apple and some creamy almond butter (it squashes hunger!). You'll avoid a sugar crash while stocking up on vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
After Your Workout
Your body has just used up a helluva lot of energy it needs to function. It's best to refuel within about 30 minutes of working, but if you aren't able to eat a full meal right away, have a snack within 20 minutes of your training, then a full meal 3 to 4 hours later.
Grilled Chicken and Mixed Vegetables
When you're in recovery mode, your body needs something dense. The lean protein in chicken will fill you up without feeling overly bloated. Complemented with some veggies in olive oil will do the trick!
Eggs are renowned for their source of protein assisting muscle recovery and growth, but adding vegetables with a few slices of avocado give it that extra boost of energy for your body. Avocado can help your body absorb fat and stocked with antioxidants helping you glow from the inside out.
Whole Wheat Tuna Fish, Hummus and Spinach Sandwich
If you're prone to a lunchtime workout, then make sure you pack a tuna sanga. It's low in calories, high in protein and carbs. Spread hummus as a base, as it's not only better for you than mayo, its high in fiber. And don't forget the spinach before you hook in! It lowers blood pressure and inflammation.
Salmon an amazing source of nutrients, housing bioactive peptides and small protein molecules that play a vital role in inflammation reduction, helping to regulate insulin levels and give you joint support. If you're adding a vegetable, sweet potatoes are our pick! Their impressive carb consumption helps restore glycogen levels, which can be worn down during the workout.
Got milk? Well you should, because research shows that a glass of chocolate milk has all the nutrients you need to recover after a workout: Carbs and protein for muscle recovery, water content to replace the fluids lost as sweat and calcium, sodium and sugar.
Genesis Fitness expert coaches can help you every step of the way on your fitness journey and the best way to do that is in a group!
Find a class today in their Coaching Zone - the ultimate group personal training!