Pre/Post Workout Foods


LacyinTX

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I feel like I need more fuel for my workouts than just the protein I eat for breakfast. I usually only eat meat for breakfast. (In a hurry, grabbing whatever protein was left from the night before's meal). I suppose I need more than that, but I don't want to be full feeling when I go to the gym (usually about 1 hr after I eat). Any suggestions for a good easy to grab and go food pre-workout?

I would also welcome post workout, recovery food suggestions.

And no. I am not eating sweet potatos. Or cucumbers. Other than those two I am pretty open minded.

L

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For pre-workout I always found a hardboild egg and a handful of nuts to be the perfect amount of food. It's energy dense to get you through the whole workout but without making you feel overly full.

For post workout - This is where I find chicken breast to come in handy. If you are not a fan of sweet potatoes, try pumpkin or butternut squash. If those are still out, then some berries (strawberries, blueberries, rasberries) are your next best option.

For both of the meals, it makes life so much easier to have it cooked ahead of time. I try to cook up a dozen hard boiled eggs and a few chicken breast on Sundays to make pre and post workout meals a no hassle situation.

Hope that helps!

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.

For both of the meals, it makes life so much easier to have it cooked ahead of time. I try to cook up a dozen hard boiled eggs and a few chicken breast on Sundays to make pre and post workout meals a no hassle situation.

Hope that helps!

I saw a link on pinterest where she batch cooked hard boiled eggs in the oven - clever!

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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll give them a try. Boiled eggs are a pretty good standby.

I find that I (and this is just me...) tend to use nuts and berries as a crutch and over-do them sometimes. I will see if I can limit myself on them and if they help me get through the workout a little better.

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Have you given sweet potatoes a try lately? I too, was in the "no, not sweet potatoes" camp until last weekend. Put a couple in the crockpot with about 1/2 cup of water. Cook on high for 2 hours or until soft. Peel potatoes & mash the insides. Add salt & pepper. When I went from trying to make them sweet and started enjoying them with other spices, it made a world of difference.

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No. Not lately.

I won't say "never", but sweet potatos and cucumbers are on the "about as close to never as possible" list. If it is a choice between eating those two veggies or death... then yeah. But of my own free will? Not likely. :)

Hubby LOVEs both of them. But I just can't. I don't know why really.... My dad has the same unreasonable dislike of sweet potatoes and cucumbers. I wonder if it is a genetic taste thing like tasting cilantro. I am one of those to whom cilantro tastes like soap. I learned about that in a genetics class in college.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll give them a try. Boiled eggs are a pretty good standby.

I find that I (and this is just me...) tend to use nuts and berries as a crutch and over-do them sometimes. I will see if I can limit myself on them and if they help me get through the workout a little better.

I know what you mean about nuts. I can easily throw down a bag of nuts and not think twice about it. So in my house, I store the nuts in the freezer (out of sight, if they are in the pantry or counter top my eye lingers on them too long) . In the morning, still half asleep, I will reach in the freezer grab 1 closed handful, then grab my egg and gym bag and march out the door. This way I have no chance of going back for more.

I also just made the understanding with myself that nuts are for pre-workout meals or travel emergency meals, not everyday munching.

keep us updated on how it goes!

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I wonder if the texture of sweet potato is what's giving you trouble? If so, you might want to try sweet potato baby food. Cold from the fridge, it's really palatable and not quite so, um, sweet potato-y. As that's such a convenient PWO carb source, it may be worth an experiment - and you can always mix it with applesauce to mask the flavor, if that might help. Just an idea.

Melissa

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Great Idea Melissa! I forgot to mention baby food, but my husband and I will often use the pouches as easy togo carb sources. I really like this brand, and you can find these just about anywhere for about $1.50 or less. Once you get past the idea of eating baby food, they are super tasty and there are lots of fruit/starch combinations!

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hi, the thing that struck me about your question was that you mentioned you work out in the morning. liver glycogen, which stabilizes blood sugar, is lowest in the morning, so i've always thought of this as the perfect time to eat fruit - the fructose will be processed quite nicely by the ol' liver, and will save your body the trouble of having to convert some of the protein you eat to glucose for this purpose.

which is my rambling way of saying... how about an apple and some tuna? lol, that's a morning standby for me. of course, not everyone likes canned fish in the morning, but i'm, uh, special ;)

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This morning I will try adding a fist fil of walnuts. Tomorrow I might try a clementine. I love those baby oranges! (Maybe too much!Haha) I need to get my fruit before/after working out. Not before bed. I like them at night, but that's probably not the best idea. I think they fill the dessert gap for me.

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I realize that I'm not really going to answer your question, I typically don't eat before working out (in the morning). I feel better during my workout, lighter, energized. Then again, I have been eating primal/paleo for over 2 years and definitely believe I have moved from a sugar burner to a fat burner. Post workout (hour or more after) I typically have nuts and dried fruit (w/o sugar) or fresh fruit. Sometimes I will splurge and have a banana and almond butter (my favorite!).

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I don't much like sweet potatoes or yams normally. But I have found a way to make yams delicious and not as sweet. Cut them French fry size. Then roast them with a couple tablespoons coconut oil, a Couple teaspoons of cumin, a little bit of cinnamon and salt and pepper. Roast at 425 until they are just starting to get crispy. Perfect for post workout!

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Hey everyone! I just made a creamy butternut squash soup to eat after workouts. It keeps well in the fridge and I can pour a good bowl with lunch or just a mug to fuel up in the afternoon depending on how long our WOD is and how tired I feel. And it goes down pretty easy after workouts along with a hard boiled egg.

To cook:

1 butternut squash (pierce with a knife and just plop in the oven around 350 for an hour or so)

Saute three or four cloves of garlic (or to taste) in olive oil or coconut fat in a big saucepan/pot

Chop up the butternut squash into big chunks along, chop up a couple summer squash, dump in the pot along with a couple handfuls baby carrots

Submerge the vegetables in water, add salt, boil 'til everything is soft and then stick the immersion blender and whir until it's a creamy soup

Add a few dollops of coconut milk to make creamy (optional)

Then just let it cook low for awhile as you season to taste - salt, fresh ground black pepper, a shake each of nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder - keep this pretty mild and then

Put in a handful of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon, immersion blender again, let the cilantro cook a few minutes then cool and serve.

A blender works to make this if you don't have an immersion blender, or just finely chop up all the veggies and make more of a stew.

I don't cook with amounts, sorry! But the trick is to get the base of your soup and then just conservatively add spices, let simmer a bit, stir, taste, correct, etc. It will be ok with just salt and pepper but the nutmeg, etc. add a nice earthiness and I just LOVE fresh cilantro. It is almost like dessert in a cup which is nice for after a workout. No protein to speak of, but it takes care of the carbs.

AGK

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Another possible way to prepare sweet potatoes if you want to try them but don't have time to bake or roast them: peel, cut into thin (but not matchstick) wedges or chunks, put on a microwavable plate sandwiched between 2 paper towls (helps absorb moisture) and microwave for 4-5 minutes. By the time you eat them either chilled from the fridge or at room temperature, they're surprisingly soft and creamy, kind of like pumpkin or sweet potato pie filling without the sugar.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks guys - have just been looking for some good suggestions for pre and post workout snacks........ Fruit is not an option for me (don't eat it never have) but love sweet potato and butternut - the soup looks brilliant especially coming into winter here in Australia :-)

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but I have lost almost 5 pounds.

Adele, we're not supposed to get on the scale during our Whole30. I've been really enjoying a couple of weeks without my scale. I get to judge myself based on my behavior, not just on how the scale reacts to my behavior -- the things I have control over, not the things I don't. Put your scale in the closet for the next few weeks!

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No. Not lately.

I won't say "never", but sweet potatos and cucumbers are on the "about as close to never as possible" list. If it is a choice between eating those two veggies or death... then yeah. But of my own free will? Not likely. :)

Hubby LOVEs both of them. But I just can't. I don't know why really.... My dad has the same unreasonable dislike of sweet potatoes and cucumbers. I wonder if it is a genetic taste thing like tasting cilantro. I am one of those to whom cilantro tastes like soap. I learned about that in a genetics class in college.

Sweet potatoes are the best. I love them more than reg potatoes. My fave recipe is to toss them in olive oil and season with garlic powder, sea salt, and herbs then roast in the oven until they are soft. So, good.

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Hey all,

I'm jumping in late. I've been experimenting with pre-workout meals and have finally found what really works for me before a long/hard workout. In a blender I mix 1/2 can of coconut milk, 1 banana, 1 scoop protein powder. This really seems to hold me. If it is a training day I drink this about 1 hour before starting. If it is a race day, I drink this about 2 hours before start and top off with a pouch of sweet potatoe / apple baby food just before the start.

Post workout I immediately drink a smoothie consisting of 8-10 oz. apple juice, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 banana, 1 scoop protein powder. later I try to eat a good recovery meal. If I'm short on time this meal might just be sardines and a sweet potatoe.

I know the general concensus on long cardio sessions but I'm training for an Ironman so Saturday and Sunday workouts range from 3.5 to 6.5 hours so I'm happy to have these healthy options that sustain me.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Am I doing this right?

This morning, I planned to go to my regular Zumba class at 10 plus a Zumba master class at 12:30. There was no way I was going to eat and digest a full meal during the hour and a half in between.

When I got home to switch t-shirts between classes (my first one was drenched!) I had: 1 regular-sized Larabar (for readily accessible carbs and fat) and about 2 cups of bone broth with extra salt and lemon.

I have seriously never really thought about "exactly what should I eat when I work out" before. I take a lot of dance workshops where there's a two hour session, then a one hour break, then another two hour session and so I usually just stuff something convenient in my face and soldier on. The emphasis in those workshops is more on muscle work than on all-out cardio like today. What should I be stuffing in my face between sessions on days like these?

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