This week’s blog post comes from our intern, Hannah Krause. Hannah is a recent graduate from Southeast Missouri State University. She studied Health Management: Exercise Science with a minor in Nutrition.
We all hear how important it is to stretch, get a good night’s sleep, and eat a good breakfast. However, there are many misconceptions about what proper nutrition looks like before exercise (especially when it comes to carbs). Carbohydrates are our body’s main source of fuel and are not something to limit our bodies of too excessively. The timing of a pre-workout snack varies from person to person; however, it is recommended to eat at least 1-4 hours prior to starting exercise to ensure our bodies have plenty of time for digestion.
When choosing a snack remember all bodies have a different structure. With trial and error, you can find the perfect snack and window of time for your body that will prepare you for an awesome workout.
Always include some carbohydrates and protein for your pre-workout snack to ensure your body has plenty of energy, and protein that rebuilds and repair muscle.
Pre-Workout Snack Ideas:
- Greek yogurt with berries
- Peanut butter and banana sandwich
- Apples and peanut butter
- Granola bar with protein
Post-workout nutrition is just as important to replenish your muscles of the nutrients lost. The magic window of time is usually within the hour after completing an exercise routine.
Post-Workout Snack Ideas:
- Smoothies with protein
- Whole grain wrap with turkey and veggies
- Spinach and egg whites
- Hummus and pita bread
- Quinoa with grilled chicken or salmon
The most important take away is that our bodies all have different frameworks. The best way to find out the amount of time needed and the exact foods that work best for you is by trial and error. If you aren’t already including the above in your pre- and post-workout nutrition, I encourage you to make some changes in the next few weeks to see what works for you!