What you should eat after the gym. And what to eat before a workout. Should you exercise with intermittent fasting at all? Here are our superfood recommendations for your fitness and workouts.
It turns out, you don’t have to exercise with intermittent fasting to see results. Our co-founder Gen Davidson lost the bulk of her weight while unable to exercise due to a bad knee brought on by the excess kilos. In saying that, exercise is a surefire way to give your weight loss a kick up the butt!
Exercise plus intermittent fasting equals big weight loss results
So, if you do decide to exercise while intermittent fasting, the real question is, what to eat before a workout, and when? Well, if you are sticking to incidental exercise and light walking, you can eat as normal. However, if you have decided to follow an exercise regime, then we have some specific recommendations for what to eat before a workout and when.
No one wants to feel hungry, or dare I say it, hangry. And there is no need to be hungry at the gym. We’re here to solve the health and fitness equation, so you can think, move, breathe, and enjoy life without the constant worry of what to eat before a workout!
After all, that’s why we are here, right?
So if your following an intermittent fasting plan, whether it be the part-day, two-day, or the three-day fasting method, and you’re not sure what to eat before a workout, keep reading!
The benefits of fasting and exercise
Did you know there are actually benefits to working out in a fasted state? Many studies have found that the best way to burn fat and build lean muscle mass is to work out first thing in the morning. This is because exercising on an empty stomach will force your body to activate it’s sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Your SNS helps break down adipose (fat) tissue into free fatty acids. In layman’s terms, your body uses fat for energy.
However, if you can’t bear the thought of working out on an empty stomach, we recommend scheduling your workouts during your ‘feast’ periods. There you have it – the best of both worlds!
Pre-workout meal timing
Want something quick to grab before you head out the door? A meal consumed 1-3 hours before your workout will help you have the energy to smash out every-single-rep and keep you from feeling light-headed or dizzy.
The benefits of these snacks go far beyond keeping you full! We’ve carefully compiled this list of our favourite superfoods to give you a little kick before the gym.
What to eat before a workout! Check out our yummy list of snack options:
- Picker eater? A handful of almonds and piece of fruit will do the trick.
- Rice cakes are a healthy starch. Top with your favourite nut butter (ours is almond), banana coins, and a sprinkle of chia seeds! Wa-lah! You’ve got yourself a snack that will curb those sweet tooth cravings and help fuel your workout.
- Hard boiled eggs are best for when you’re super busy! Pro tip: Boil and pre your eggs the night before, and package them in an airtight container.
- Smoothies are also perfect if you need to get your greens in! Simply combine a handful of spinach, your choice of milk, half a banana, and one serving of you’re favourite protein powder and you’ve got yourself a delicious snack to keep you energised throughout your workout.
What to eat after the gym
But wait. What about after that final rep?
You’ve just completed a tough HIIT class or perhaps an intense hot yoga class. Either way – you’re exhausted, tired, and in need of some energy! Here’s the dilemma – you don’t want to undo all your hard work at the gym, but know you should eat something to maximise the benefits of your workout. We recommend consuming a good balance of complex carbs and protein after a tough session at the gym. That’s right! You heard it! Carbs are not “unhealthy”! Without sounding too scientific, your body needs carbohydrates after working out because they help kick start the whole recovery and muscle growth process. It is also important to mix good quality carbs with protein as your body will find it easier to absorb the protein and repair the muscles.
And by protein, we don’t mean the standard old shake mixed with water.
- Natural yoghurt with berries and nuts
- A mixed leafy green salad with brown rice and a tin of tuna
- Hummus and vegetable sticks
- Or even some low-calorie chicken skewers!
Here are some other healthy carb options:
- Whole Grain toast with cottage cheese and avocado
- Mixed beans, corn and a serving of protein (about the size of your palm)
- Oatmeal or quinoa porridge with a scope of protein powder (preferably pea over whey)
For more low-calorie snack options or what to eat before a workout, take a peek here!
If you’re torn between eating or not eating before your workout. Take it back to basics. Trial and error. Find what works best for your body. Your closest girlfriend may thrive off having a complete meal before the gym. But, on the other hand, if having a banana before exercise makes you feel plain sick, then don’t! Here at Super Fast Diet, we are all about listening to your body, trusting your intuition, and living your best life possible.