When it comes to exercise, the food you eat before and after your workout is hugely important. Fuelling your body with the right type of food pre-workout will ensure you are able to exercise with energy and drive, performing at a high intensity without feeling exhausted or ill. Likewise, eating the right food following your workout will help your body recover and ensure you reap the maximum benefits.
What are the types of food you should be eating pre- and post-workout and how do they help your body?
What to eat pre-workout
In order to perform to the best of your ability during your workout, you need to make sure your body is properly fuelled and ready to go. The key is to eat the right type of carbohydrates, ideally 2-3 hours before you exercise.
While many people think that carbohydrates are bad for you and will make you put on weight, the truth is that stored carbohydrates are what enable us to exercise in the first place as they break down into glycogen, the primary fuel your body uses to move.
The key is to eat a combination of complex and simple carbohydrates so that energy is released slowly and steadily throughout your workout. Complex carbs will keep you going for a long period of time, while simple carbs will provide you with a strong kick of energy.
Combine complex carbs like root veg, wholegrain pasta, rice, oats and brown bread with simple carbs like fruit. It’s also a good idea to add a source of protein to help minimise muscle damage and aid with recovery.
Some examples of good pre-workout snacks/meals:
• Peanut butter and banana on toast (bananas also help to raise potassium levels often depleted via sweat)
• Oats with milk and fruit
• Apple and peanut or almond butter
• A handful of nuts and raisins
Some of the delicious options available on the David Lloyd menu:
• Oats So Good protein shake: Rolled oats, banana, raspberries, blueberries, flax seeds, whey protein and apple juice
• Greek yoghurt with banana, pomegranates, pistachios and honey
• Fruit and Nut protein shake: Strawberries, banana, peanut butter, whey protein and almond milk
What to eat post-workout
After exercising, you need to replace the glycogen lost (unless you are trying to lose weight and achieve a large calorie-deficit). This is especially necessary if you’ve done a long period of cardiovascular activity such as running or cycling. You should also include protein to help your body rebuild the muscle tissue damaged during your workout. This is especially necessary after weight training.
Aim to eat a snack or meal combining complex carbohydrates and protein.
Some examples of good post-workout snacks/meals:
• An omelette with sautéed vegetables
• Grilled salmon, roast sweet potato and roast veg
• A tuna sandwich on whole grain bread
• Oats with nuts and fruit
• A protein shake
Some of the great options available on the David Lloyd menu:
• Grilled flat mushroom with beef tomato, wilted spinach and a poached egg on pumpkin and chia seed toast
• Pitta bread with tuna, red onion, mixed peppers and mayo
• Steak, avocado and feta salad: Grilled sirloin steak with avocado, mixed leaf salad, feta cheese and balsamic dressing
• High protein tuna salad with avocado, spinach, green beans, pine nuts, a hard-boiled egg and French dressing
• Top Banana protein shake: Peanut butter, chocolate whey protein and almond milk
Finding the time to fit in a workout as well as prepare nutritious snacks or meals often isn’t possible which is why we provide healthy, balanced dishes at David Lloyd Clubs DLicious cafebars. To discover more about your food and drink options at David Lloyd Clubs or to view our menu online, visit davidlloyd.co.uk/food.