What to eat before you workout
Urgh - you are hungry and you WANT to fuel your body, but you don't want to see your breakfast on the gym floor again (seriously GROSS, team - this is not a badge of honor). Some people (including me) hate to eat right before training - because, you know, I'm busy digesting things. BUT […]

Urgh - you are hungry and you WANT to fuel your body, but you don't want to see your breakfast on the gym floor again (seriously GROSS, team - this is not a badge of honor).

Some people (including me) hate to eat right before training - because, you know, I'm busy digesting things. BUT eat before your workout can keep your blood sugar steady, and if you're hungry you should really be listening to your body. Didn't you understand my memo on INTUITIVE EATING?

READ NEXT: 3 Simple Steps to Intuitive Eating

Your muscles use the glucose stored in your muscles for fuel. It comes from CARBOHYDRATES, so you're going to want to make sure you have it, or your output / intensity will decrease as you become exhausted.

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LETS TALK CARB-CYCLING.⁠ ⠀ I was chatting with trainer @dsfukuhara about carb cycling, and it made me realize that there aren't a lot of people talking about this that it is or how it could be useful ... ⁠ ⠀ ⁠ ⠀ I don't want to add to the #carbphobia out there, so here is the SCIENCE behind it. ⠀ ⁠⠀ Carbohydrate cycling is a dietary approach in which you alternate carbohydrate intake on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. ⠀ ⠀ It is commonly used to lose fat, maintain physical performance while following a diet or overcome a weight loss plateau. ⁠⠀ WHAT IS IT? when not needed - to meet the body's calorie or glucose needs at the OPTIMUM TIME. Protein intake is generally similar from day to day, while fat intake varies with carbohydrate intake. One approach is high carbohydrate intake on days of training + lower carbohydrate intake on rest days. I used to do this when following an online plan and to be honest although I'm super anti-diet # I have had some awesome results that I haven't been able to replicate since (no-go approach) carbohydrate cycling). Maybe it's time I did a little science experiment on myself. ⁠⠀ DOES IT REALLY WORK? ⁠ ⠀ Science is primarily based on the biological mechanisms behind the manipulation of carbohydrates. There aren't many controlled studies directly examining a TBH carbohydrate cycling diet. The proposed mechanism of the carbohydrate cycle is to maximize the benefits of carbohydrates and teach the body to burn fat for fuel. While this makes sense in theory, more direct research is needed. In theory, carb cycling can help you maintain your physical performance while providing some of the same benefits of a low carb diet. ⁠⠀ BOTTOM: ⁠ ⠀ Carbohydrate cycling can help you lose weight as long as you maintain a calorie deficit. Eating a lot of protein can also help. ⁠ ⠀ _________ ⁠⠀ #CFD #carbcycling #tffnutritionbites

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PROTEIN (alone or with carbohydrates) increases muscle synthesis (building) when consumed before exercise. I generally aim for 20-30g per serving for a full meal and 10-20 for a snack. Numerous studies have documented the potential of consuming protein before training to improve performance. It has also been found to be very beneficial within an hour of training, so if you can't eat before (like I did) try to eat it soon after.

What about FAT? Some studies have investigated the effects of fat intake on athletic performance. However, these studies looked at high fat diets over a long period of time, rather than before exercise. For me, eating something with fat before a workout makes me feel very sluggish and more nauseous so I stay away from it, but if you like it add some for a meal or well balanced snack.

Turkish eggs + sourdough
Turkish eggs + sourdough

Here are my top picks for what to eat right before a workout:

Okay, so what's the right fuel that will give you plenty of energy for cardio and strength training, without letting you down?

Oatmeal, protein powder + blueberries
Whole oats are a delicious, complex carbohydrate, with loads of fiber to keep your digestive system full and healthy too. Mix your favorite protein powder (about 25g will do) and mix with water or almond milk. Top it off with a big handful of blueberries and you've got great pre-workout fuel!

Tip: Go the extra mile and add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to the mix for extra protein and creaminess.

Protein smoothie

Add a spoonful of your favorite protein to your blender, a spoonful of cottage cheese (trust me!) And a handful of frozen fruit (I love raspberries or mango!). Mix with water or almond milk and you are good to go! I also like to add 1/2 tablespoon of psyllium for more fiber.

Tip: Also add some green powder or collagen, if you are feeling very healthy, and make it one!

Wholemeal toast + scrambled eggs

I love sourdough, but any brown bread will do (just make sure there's no sugar or crap in the ingredient list). Add 2-3 scrambled eggs and you're done! If you want to make this the night before, boil a carton of eggs in boiling water for 7 minutes, then run under cold water and refrigerate the rest for use during the week).

WANT MORE MEAL PREPARATION IDEAS? CLICK HERE!

Greek Yogurt + Banana + Cinnamon

Take a bowl of plain Greek yogurt (powerhouse) and add some carbohydrates along with banana slices. I love finger bananas because they are a bit smaller and sweeter (more sugar = more glucose for muscle fuel). Cinnamon will help slow the spike in blood sugar, plus it tastes epic, so do it.

Turkish eggs + sourdough

I'll just let this recipe speak for itself: click here.

Rice cakes + cottage cheese + Chia

If you can find brown rice cakes, you laugh. Top with cottage cheese and a pinch of chia or even a drizzle of honey if you like sweets. A quick no-bake snack that won't leave you weighed down.

READ NEXT: Which TWO Supplements You Need to Work Out.

What do you like to eat before a workout? Drop your suggestions in the comments below !!!

Sal xo

Sally O'Neil - Editor-in-Chief

Sal's mission is to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn't have to be boring - and that even while staying fit, you can have your cake and eat it, too. After losing 14 kg by adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on the blog The Fit Foodie. She also works as a commercial food photographer and stylist, is studying a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Nutrition and Dietetics and is the author of two cookbooks: Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017) and Meal Prep Plan (Murdoch , 2019).


It’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and alimentation. Even qualified experts often seem to hold opposing opinions. Yet, despite all the disagreements, a number of wellness tips are well supported by research. Here are 27 health and nutrition tips that are actually based on good technique.

These 8 practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices.

The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.

If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you’ll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.

You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

It’s recommended that men have around 2, 500 calories a day ( 10, 500 kilojoules ). Women should have around 2, 000 kcal a day ( 8, 400 kilojoules ). Most adults in the UK are eating more calories than they need and should eat fewer kcal.

Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals. Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on.

They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer. Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.

Keep an eye on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these genres of foods because that’s what increases the calorie content – for example, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.

It’s recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Getting your 5 A Day is easier than it sounds. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit ?

A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit ( which should be kept to mealtimes ) is 30g. A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount you have to no more than 1 glass a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.

You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt. Most people should be eating more fish, but there are recommended limits for some types of fish.

You need some fat in your diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you’re eating. There are 2 main types of fat : saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day. Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.

Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados. For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee.

When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat. All types of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.

Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay. Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy ( measured in kilojoules or kcal ), and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies. This is the type of sugar you should be cutting down on, rather than the sugar found in fruit and milk.

Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars.

More than 22. 5g of total sugars per 100g means the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means the food is low in sugar.

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much.

About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and condiments. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1. 5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.

Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt ( about a teaspoonful ) a day. Younger children should have even less.

As well as eating healthily, regular exercise may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. It’s also important for your overall health and wellbeing.

Read more about the benefits of exercise and physical activity guidelines for adults. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health.

Most adults need to lose weight by eating fewer calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a saine, balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Check whether you’re a saine weight by using the BMI saine weight calculator. Start the NHS weight loss plan, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity. If you’re underweight, see underweight adults. If you’re worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice.

You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop you getting dehydrated. The government recommends drinking 6 to 8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, lower fat milk and lower sugar drinks, including tea and coffee, are healthier choices. Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they’re high in calories. They’re also bad for your teeth.

Even unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies are high in free sugar. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day, which is a small glass. Remember to drink more fluids during hot weather or while exercising.

Some people skip breakfast because they think it’ll help them lose weight. But a saine breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.

A wholegrain lower sugar cereal with semi-skimmed milk and fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and healthier breakfast. Further informationThe Eatwell Guide can help you get the right balance of the 5 main food groups. The guide shows you how much of what you eat should come from each food group. Read more about eating a balanced diet and understanding kcal.

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