All foods are digested and metabolized differently, so you need to think about the best times to eat foods that will support your exercise schedule.
Before A Workout
Pre-workout meals should focus mostly on healthy carbs, but since carbs with high amounts of fiber take longer to digest, you want to be careful not to take in too much directly before exercise. Protein and fat also take longer to digest, so those should also be spaced further away from exercise.
If you have 3 to 4 hours before exercise…… Have a regular meal.
• A salad with grilled chicken, vinaigrette dressing and whole wheat roll
• Turkey & cheese or PB&J on whole-grain bread
• Grilled salmon with brown rice and broccoli
• Whole grain pasta with feta cheese and grilled veggies
If you have 60 minutes or less before exercise….. Have a low-fat (and relatively low-protein) snack.
• Nonfat yogurt
• A low-fat granola bar
• A piece of fruit
• A handful of pretzels
Note: always consider your personal tolerance – choose foods you digest comfortably.
After A Workout
The post-workout window is time for refueling energy stores and helping tired and worn out muscles recover. That means more healthy carbs plus a boost of protein. If it’s been more than 4 hours since your last meal, it’s time for another one. If not, try one of these snack options:
• A glass of chocolate milk
• Hummus with pita chips
• (In a time crunch) A protein bar
• Half of a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread
TELL US: What are your burning nutrition and exercise questions? We also recommend the 1000 Paleo Recipes for bigger choices for cardio meals.