Pre/Post Workout Foods


LacyinTX

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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?

I would focus on eating easy to digest carbs and protein to get you back in for another session. Fruit, sweet potatoes, pumpkin are awesome carb choices (I LOVE .25cup of pumpkin with a spoonful of applesauce and a pinch of cinnamon) . Pulled chicken, turkey, sardines, or salmon are good protein options. Fat can slow down your rate of absorption, so I would consider it the least important of the 3 marcosin between session (I'm not saying you can't have it, but I would keep it small).

Focus on protein and fat before the first session for that nice slow burning energy source.

Carbs and protein in between sessions. Lots of water! Add in a pinch of salt or a 4:1 ratio of water:fruit juice to help replenish electrolytes after all that sweating.

After it's all said and done, carbs and protein are again the most important things to get down.

About an hour or so after, then have a nice meal with healthy portions of protein, fat, and carbs

Hope that helps! Sounds like a lot of dancing!

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  • 8 months later...

Awesome advice everyone! Protein, carbs and fat are the Holy trilogy of pre and post-WO.

@Megan: thanks for all the tips. I was on the fence about baby food. I take the macro approach and generally avoid all canned or packed food since it has been processed and preserved somewhat. But I do appreciate its merits. So I'll have to try Ella's Kitchen. It sounds legit.

On that note about canned stuff, I've noted some people opt for fish. Instead, I got a package of Echo Falls smoked salmon. The ingredients check out. In limiting quantities, I can have some during my W30 right? I'll eat it pre-WO with half an avocado with lemon juice.

Post-WO, I can have coconut water? It's super hydrating and refreshing, with lime juice. With a 'nanner, or blended together = delish. You need electrolytes after a long bike ride or run, right?

Here's my contribution. It's a pre and post-WO snack you can bake in the oven. Ready? Meat Cookies! Here's the list of ingredients, the quantities are estimated bc I've been experimenting. If you're batch cookin', increase the quantities of course. You won't even taste the sweet potato!

  • Your choice of ground meat (pork turns out like sausage patties, beef like hamburger)
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Chinese 5 spice
  • 1/2 tsp. grated ginger
  • Few cranberries (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Cook potato (I do it in the microwave) and mash in a bowl
  • Add meat, mix
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and oil
  • Add the egg mixture to the meat and potatoes
  • Add spices, ginger, cranberries (if you're usin' em) and mix well
  • Shape into small, bite-size balls and place on foil lined baking sheet -- might want to oil the foil or use a wire cooking rack 'cause they stick
  • Bake at 350 for about 45 min, smooshin' em down with a fork halfway (important)
  • Once done, transfer to cooling rack. Wrap in foil and store in the fridge

Warm them up when you need, or heck, take 'em to the gym. Makes an awesome pre-WO snack in the morning with a small cup of coffee (maybe splurge and put a splash of coconut milk in!). Or eat post-WO with half an avocado dumped onto it. Give it a try. Let me know what ya'll think and enjoy!

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  • 3 years later...
On 4/9/2012 at 3:51 PM, LacyinTX said:

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.

I'm new, but I read regular potatoes were a good post-work out veggie with the protein.  I'm an endurance athlete, so I don't know if that's different but why not have slices of pre-cooked potato with your meat?  it's delicious with salt :)

 

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On 5/16/2012 at 10:21 AM, Jay said:

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.

What kind of protein powder do you use? I'd love to find one that is compliant!! The pea-protein one that I'm weening myself off has all sorts of sugar nasties. 

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8 minutes ago, Julie McD said:

What kind of protein powder do you use? I'd love to find one that is compliant!! The pea-protein one that I'm weening myself off has all sorts of sugar nasties. 

I'm not sure Jay will respond as this post is from 2012....

Honestly, we'd encourage you to try fueling with real food - it's only 30 days. Aim for protein & fat pre work-out, and a lean protein & optional starchy carb post work out. You might be surprised at how effective this is if you give it a fair try.

Incidentally peas are also off limits (they're a legume) - not just the sugar nasties ;)

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30 minutes ago, Julie McD said:

What kind of protein powder do you use? I'd love to find one that is compliant!! The pea-protein one that I'm weening myself off has all sorts of sugar nasties. 

I would follow what jmcbn says, that has worked the best for me and I wouldn't recommend protein powders while on the Whole30 either but when I'm not on the Whole30, I sometimes use hemp protein.  I think its higher in protein than pea protein and the taste is not too bad. The brand that I use is Manitoba Harvest and they are compliant but they may have flavored ones so check the ingredients just to be sure.

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19 minutes ago, jmcbn said:

I'm not sure Jay will respond as this post is from 2012....

Honestly, we'd encourage you to try fueling with real food - it's only 30 days. Aim for protein & fat pre work-out, and a lean protein & optional starchy carb post work out. You might be surprised at how effective this is if you give it a fair try.

Incidentally peas are also off limits (they're a legume) - not just the sugar nasties ;)

Oh my--can you tell I'm new?? LOL

I'm gearing up for my first Whole30--so have a few more days to go.  I've been off my daily morning smoothie+ pea protein powder (supposedly healthy) for a few days and feel SO much better already. After I read the Whole30 sugar info, I scrutinized the label and there were tons of sugar nasties in there. But I do find the supplements nice to have in a time crunch (when I'm not on Whole30)--it would just be nice to have a compliant one on hand. 

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