It’s officially summer and this is the month of sport and exercise...
With the Tour De France, the Netball World Cup and the British Golf Open it’s about time we start talking about nutrition and exercise. You don’t have to be a pro golfer, professional netball player or world class cyclist for this information to apply to you.
Quite the opposite really. This KNOWLEDGE BITE is all about helping you to understand how to eat around different types of workouts. So whether you’re a early riser or a night owl, a flexible yogi, a regular weight lifter or a casual walker there’s information here for all of you.
For those of you who are smashing a HIIT workout or heavy strength session in the early hours of your day then ideally you should fuel up before (note: everyone is different and some people workout better on an empty stomach so do what works for you). A banana or a small bowl of porridge is perfect to provide you with some fuel.
Following these types of workouts you need to replenish your glycogen stores so load up on complex carbohydrates and protein to support optimal recovery. Breakfast examples include: porridge topped with some berries and nut butter, scrambled eggs or peanut butter on toasted rye bread or a fully loaded protein shake with banana or oats, peanut butter, milk (or milk alternative) and a good quality protein powder. Eggs are rich in leucine which helps with muscle repair and so perfect if you have the time. Although if you’re finding breakfast prep difficult then try out The Transformation Chef breakfasts which can ensure you’re supporting your workouts and help to keep you fuelled throughout the morning.
For those of you who are time poor and time savvy and try to fit your workouts in at lunchtime then it’s advisable you have a larger breakfast and a light snack mid-morning to ensure you have some fuel for your workout. An apple with nut butter, Greek yoghurt (or yoghurt alternative) and berries, some nuts or our energy balls are perfect.
Following your workout, opt for something high in complex carbohydrates, protein and a range of vegetables. Exercise produces free radicals (a very natural reaction) and so consuming your vegetables can help to neutralise the free radicals as they’re super high in antioxidants.
A quinoa salad with chicken, salmon or tofu is a great post-workout lunch option as is a mixed bean salad or even a wholemeal wrap with hummus, halloumi and mixed vegetables. Why not try our Spiced Tilapia with Quinoa as the ideal post workout meal. Throughout the afternoon you may also be aware that your appetite can increase in response to your workout. Make sure to opt for a protein rich snack to keep you fuller for longer. Roasted beans, boiled eggs or hummus and crudités are all good options.
If an after-work workout is more your style then try snacking on a carbohydrate rich snack in the afternoon around 1-2 hours prior to your session The Transformation Chef matcha and vanilla vegan blondies are a great way to keep your energy levels high to see you through your workout.Alternatively opt for a banana smoothie, dates with almond butter or rice cakes with mashed banana.
Following your workout opt for a protein and complex carbohydrate rich dinner. E.g. bolognaise over a jacket sweet potato (or a mixed bean bolognaise for a plant-based option), grilled meat or fish with brown rice and veggies, a root vegetable frittata or even a tofu stir-fry.
Finally, make sure you’re getting enough variety in your diet and surrounding your workouts to ensure you’re obtaining a varied micronutrient and amino acid profile. Finally, ensure that you’re staying hydrated throughout the day as dehydration can contribute to lower energy, irritability, headaches and impaired cognitive performance.