NUTRITION BLOG POST #3
FUELING YOUR WORKOUT FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE
Correctly fueling your body before each workout is a vital piece to successful fitness. Whether your goal is to compete as a professional athlete, or working out for good health, the foods you choose to fuel your body heavily impacts your workout performance. Thankfully, there are several nutrition do’s and don’ts that will TREMENDOUSLY IMPROVE YOUR WORKOUT PERFORMANCE. No matter what your goals for fitness are, proper fuel and consistent nutrition is the GOLDEN TICKET!
The great news about fueling for your workout is you can easily identify if you’re lacking proper fuel. There are a few key indicators when you do it right and when you do it wrong. So, let’s start with several questions that indicate when you IMPROPERLY fuel your workout. Here is a list of questions that indicate poor fuel:
Signs you’re NOT CONSISTENLY fueling your workout properly
- Some days your workout feels near impossible, almost as if you have a weak level of fitness/endurance
- Experienced an overall feeling of heaviness and lethargy (pre, post and during workout)
- Over a period of time not increasing fitness performance
- Feeling thirsty often during your workout and/or dry mouth
- Trouble recovering in a reasonable timeframe with muscle soreness and endurance performance
- Headaches, lack of motivation and CONSISTENT problems with workout energy
If you’ve experienced any of this, you could be experiencing what eating poorly does to the INSIDE of your body. When you eat poorly (aka poor fuel), you diminish a lot of your body’s energy. It takes so much energy on the inside of your body to try and metabolize and sift through poor fuel choices. Since the overall goal is to EAT FOR PERFORMANCE it’s critical that you fuel your body with nutrient filled foods that GIVE YOU ENERGY not diminish it. Thankfully you can easily and quickly reverse those problems through proper nutrition fuel!
THE PROCESS OF FUELING BEGINS FROM THE INSIDE
Each time you eat clean fuel your body can metabolize the food. This, in turn, makes the body say, “YAHOO recognizable fuel was fed to me, I can use every particle of this food as fuel”. Thus, useable fuel is ready and available for your workout. Food choices are VERY important for fueling your workouts. However, it is SOOOOO critical to feed your body HEALTHY fuel CONSISTENTLY!
Imagine if you eat one or two healthy meals per day. Then in the same day, you eat a candy bar and drink a soda (diet or not). All of the good fuel sources from the clean meals are diminished and have less impact because it takes FAR more energy and work for the inside of your body to metabolize the bad food you ate. Anything in moderation is fine, but keep in mind this still negatively impacts your body’s ability to process fuel most effectively. It’s important to allow yourself a cheat meal or two weekly. But just remember to eat those cheat meals around your activity. Lastly, there is NO pill, supplement or energy drink that will fuel your workout. All those quick fixes do is place a temporary Band-Aid over the real problem.
WHAT FOODS TO EAT AND COMBINE PRIOR TO YOUR WORKOUT
So now, roll your sleeves up and get ready for the GOOD stuff. Foods to eat to fuel your workout! Thankfully it’s a very easy list. Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, plant and animal proteins are your GOLDEN TICKET. Portions will vary depending on your fitness goal and activity for the day. The foods you COMBINE will also influence your workout performance. One important thing to think about, and plan for, is what type of workout you are doing. If today’s workout is a strength building day, your body needs more protein and less healthy carbohydrates and fat. If your workout is going to be a high intensity workout, combing intense cardio, strength and gymnastics, you need a combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Also, eating a few hours before your workout is always best.
Just remember it’s BEST and easiest to understand if you VISUALLY see actual meals to eat that FUEL your workouts (not meal replacement bars or supplements). Here are a few smoothies to eat prior to working out that FUEL your body based on activity:
High Intensity Day Smoothie (like MURPH):
1 medium frozen banana (key trick is freezing ripe bananas to make sweeter)
1 -2 dates (take seed out) or 1 tsp raw local honey
¼ cup coconut water (more or less based on desired consistency)
1 tsp. spirulina (this smells gross and makes smoothie SOOO green, but tastes GOOD)
1 tsp. raw hemp seeds
3 hardboiled egg whites (freeze yolks for a tasty tahini salad dressing for later)
2 cups spinach (ANY DARK LEAFY GREEN IS GREAT)
½ small lemon peeled
½ tsp fresh ginger
Blend all the ingredients in your blender until creamy, VOILA! You have fuel that feeds your workout perfectly. If you do not eat eggs then dice up some cooked chicken breast or bison meat and eat a handful (1/3 -1/4 cup). This ensures you get a good source of protein.
Strength Day SMOOTHIE (think barbell)
1 large apple
1 tsp. raw sesame seeds
¼ cup strawberries
2 cups kale (ANY DARK LEAFY GREEN IS SUPER)
4-5 hardboiled egg whites
½ cup cold water
Add some ice cubes to chill and thicken smoothie to your desired consistency. Blend until creamy and say HELLO to gaining strength!
Sending you all ROCKET FUEL workouts!
Please remember, we are all different people with different needs. If you're seeking a customized nutrition plan designed specifically for you and your needs, you can contact Nicole directly.
Whole Foods Nutrition Coach
Build to a 1rm squat clean
1 squat clean (80%)
2 bar facing burpees
2 squat cleans
4 bar facing burpees
3 squat cleans
6 bar facing burpees
4 squat cleans
8 bar facing burpees
…………continue up the ladder for 5min