Hiya Friends! Welcome to another crazy and weird blog post by me Coach E. (that rhymed) Food- Such a big topic when it comes to health and wellness with so much information to be ingested. Questions surrounding fueling workouts are often a big subject at TSB's workouts and run clubs. These are often the questions we get when talking with people about nutrition. I am here today to help you fuel workouts and recover from them and of course, to make sure some media myths get de-bunked! Lets get down to the Nitty-gritty.
When? How long before and how long after?
- Pre workout fuel. A lot of this is going to depend on you and your stomach. However, it takes fluids about 45 minutes to get into your bloodstream, to do their job. And 75 minutes for solid foods. Depending on the food, some folks can eat closer to workout and some need to push that back above an hour. My suggestion is test before you perform. Test everything you want to eat prior to working out and see how it affects you during your athletic endurance. I also say eat light, and mostly, if not all vegetables.
- Post workout fuel should be eaten as soon as physically possible. The faster we get food in, the faster it begins to rebuild our muscles! Within 45 minutes to be exact and never close to two hours.
What? What should we be eating to efficiently fuel our bodies?
This topic may last longer than the other two, please feel free to ask questions in the comment section below.
We often think of food as our enemy, or as our disease, however when we get down to the science of it, food is, and has always been our medicine. It is mother nature’s cure for all the aliments the environment throws at us.
o Pre fuel with sustainable foods, foods that are going to excrete their powerful chemicals. Our intestines reach thousands of square feet, what we put through them really, really matters. When you are asking your body to do a strenuous activity and you want it to perform well, put something in your intestines that will excrete the good stuff, not the bad. Examples;
Dark leafy greens & beets, -highest nutrition/ calorie –Nitrates in these foods reduce the oxygen cost during exercise (you can work as hard without as much oxygen)
Berries- reduce muscle fatigue
Nothing heavy, no animal protein or by-product
Dark Veggies. Remember when picking out vegetables, the darker the veg the larger value it has. (Example sweet potato vs regular potato)
o Post fuel with recovery specific foods.
When we exercise we essentially pull apart our muscle fibers. Then we eat, drink and fill in those microscopic tears. This is how people get “jacked”, they have broken down and filled in muscle therefore making it larger. And do it daily, or twice a day. The more you break down muscle and feed it, the bigger your muscle will grow.
o CARBS & FATS- Carbohydrates and fats are some of the most hated foods on the planet. They have been given a bad reputation for making us fat and unhealthy. However, its really not their fault, it’s ours. You have heard before there are good fats and bad, and good carbs and bad. But let’s set the record straight today YOUR BODY NEEDS BOTH TO MAINTAIN A LIVING STATUS. Examples;
Avocado, all day every day. One of the highest content of good fat. Whatever you are cooking for dinner tonight, soup, tacos, lasagna, go buy some avas and add them at the end.
Sweet potatoes- High in good carbs, and even higher in anti-oxidative qualities. Eat the skin! I make stuffed sweet potatoes once a week.
Nuts and seeds
Regular potatoes, from the ground though, and yes same rule applies here, the darker the skin, the better.
Roasted broccoli, asparagus and Brussel sprouts.
o Protein- This topic may not make me your favorite person, but I only speak the truth. 1. Your protein does not need to come from animals. 2. There is not a working American adult or child of working parents that is protein deficient. With the Standard American Diet or SAD, most things we consume have well above the necessary protein levels per serving. Your protein does not need to come from animal fat. Many professional athletes are eating a plant based diet and are thriving. For example, Kyrie Irving, Venus Williams and Scott Jurek who is an ultra-marathoner. Remember that the largest animals on the planet, rhino, bears, moose and most ape species eat vegetarian diets. Below are great examples of foods high in protein that can help recovery and refueling.
Nuts and seeds
Blueberries and other fruits with edible skin for muscle repair and recovery.
This age old question remains a personal specific answer. It can depends on your stomach. But to give my best answer, eat light before exercise and, if you are eating correctly, eat a ton after exercise. Science tells us that the longer or more items extreme your workout is the more you will need to eat afterwards. Also don't be surprised if you need to also eat more the next day! My biggest pet-peeve is when someone exercises and then doesn't eat because they believe this will help them loose more weight. In fact this is doing the opposite. Not eating causes your body to panic, and hold onto everything that it considers fuel. So no weight is being lost there. When you eat your body is free to continue to burn calories. Eat when your body needs to!!! If I have a a strenuous workout the day before I usually consume about 4 meals and many snacks the next day. Lots of fruits, lots of veggies and a crap ton of good healthy fats. Basically, eat a lot after a strenuous workout sesh, and eat when your body needs it!
-Exercise keeps your bowls moving- which is helpful if you have bad digestion. Additionally, the more frequent and larger in size your bowel movements, typically the healthier you are!
-If you or anyone you know has high cholesterol a study found that by eating ONE Brazilian nut a week you can lower cholesterol and keep it down!
- Warm lemon water in the am is EVERYTHING and can seriously help you wake up for your workout with out the side effects of caffeine.