A leading dietitian has revealed the exact foods to eat before and after a workout to boost your metabolism and maximise your performance at the gym.
Brisbane-based health expert Leanne Ward said what you eat before and after a workout can have a huge effect on how your burn calories and blitz fat.
And if you’re eating the wrong things, you won’t see the same results.
A leading dietitian has revealed the exact foods to eat before and after a workout to boost your metabolism and maximise your performance at the gym (pictured: Leanne Ward)
Brisbane-based health expert Leanne Ward said what you eat before and after a workout can have a huge effect on how your burn calories and blitz fat (pictured: the ideal foods for after)
So what should you be eating before you workout?
What are Leanne’s favourite pre-workout foods?
* A banana
* One or two medjool dates
* Rice cakes with honey
* Two or three lollies
* White toast and honey
* Raisin toast with jam
* Three or four dried apricots
* Two kiwis
* Half a cup of juice
According to Leanne, the best type of food is carbohydrates, as they will let you work out ‘smarter rather than harder’.
‘The body uses glucose (carbs) as the easiest fuel source pre-workout,’ Leanne wrote on her Instagram page.
‘There’s no point eating a tonne of protein or fat pre-workout as why would you want to make your body work harder to use energy?’
The types of carbs Leanne generally recommends are ‘quick’ energy carbs – the ones she wouldn’t usually recommend like honey and white bread.
‘Fat and fibre slow down the digestion of carbs so you don’t want anything high in fibre or fat pre-workout as it’ll delay your body being able to use the carbs,’ she said.
Among the best choices are a banana, one or two medjool dates, rice cakes with honey, a coffee, two or three lollies, white toast and honey, a pear, raisin toast with jam, three or four dried apricots, an apple, two kiwis, a smoothie or half a cup of juice.
‘If your workout is within 15-20 minutes, have a small carb serve like a few sips of juice, a date, half a banana, a rice cake with honey or a few dried apricots,’ Leanne (pictured) said
‘The timing of your carb choice matters too,’ Leanne said.
‘If your workout is within 15-20 minutes, have a small carb serve like a few sips of juice, a date, half a banana, a rice cake with honey or a few dried apricots.’
Among her pre-workout recommendations are a banana (pictured) and medjool dates
Meanwhile, if you have a couple of hours before a session, you could also add some protein – by way of a yoghurt and muesli or peanut butter and toast.
When it comes to her work pre-workout snack, Leanne said she is a fan of a medjool date and half a coffee for an upper body workout, or one date, two lollies and a whole coffee is she’s working on her legs.
‘I never work out fasted as I’m pushing for results in the gym, and you can’t chase results when your tank is empty,’ Leanne said.
While the pre workout is all about fuelling your body with exactly what it needs to perform in the gym – and quickly – the post workout snack or meal is an entirely different kettle of fish (pictured: the ideal post-workout foods)
What are Leanne’s favourite post-workout foods?
* Chicken and salad sandwich
* Chocolate milk
* Tofu stir fry and rice
* Tuna and chickpea pita
* Overnight oats with milk and yoghurt
* Chicken/tuna salad wrap
* Yoghurt, muesli and fruit
* Cottage cheese on toast
* Spaghetti bolognese and vegetables
* Salmon and potatoes
* Protein pancakes
* Scrambled tofu wrap
* Fruit smoothie and yoghurt
While the pre workout is all about fuelling your body with exactly what it needs to perform in the gym – and quickly – the post workout snack or meal is an entirely different kettle of fish.
‘Post-workout advice is difficult to give to everyone without an individual consult,’ Leanne said.
‘It really depends on the type and duration of the exercise you did and also your body composition goals, personal preferences and amount of time you have/lifestyle factors.’
She explained that the goals of post-workout recovery nutrition are to ‘re-fuel and re-hydrate your body, help promote muscle growth and also repair, improve any adaptations from your session and also to support your immune function’.
But again, it depends on what your workout has entailed.
‘If you did a low intensity session like a walk, short/slow run or a yoga session, post-workout nutrition isn’t as important and most individuals can get all their nutrition from their meals snacks,’ Leanne said.
Some of Leanne’s favourite post-workout foods are spaghetti bolognese with vegetables (left) – she also recommends re-fuelling with protein (right)
However, if your workout was either long, high intensity or heavy resistance-based then post-workout nutrition is very important.
‘The best advice I can provide is from Sports Diet Australia, who say that the body is most effective at replacing carbohydrate and promoting muscle repair and growth in the first 60 to 90 minutes after exercise,’ Leanne said.
‘However, this will continue to occur for another 12 to 24 hours. So, if you have a quick turnaround between sessions or have had a huge or tough session, it’s a good idea to maximise your recovery in the first 60-90 minutes after you finish exercise.’
With her own clients, Leanne said if they’re doing a HIIT or strength session that lasts over an hour, she gets them to have either a meal or a snack that contains both carbs, protein and fluid or electrolytes within 60-90 minutes of training.
Some of her favourite post-workout foods include tofu stir-fry and rice, spaghetti bolognese and vegetables, cottage cheese on toast, a chicken or tuna salad in a wrap and overnight oats with milk and yoghurt.
The dietitian is also a fan of protein pancakes.