What to eat to help you get & stay in shape
I caught up with Debbie Fleming – a fitness coach and business owner of Attitude Fitness, about the best things to eat for exercise and getting the most out of our workouts. I think we can often get confused about what to eat before or after exercising, e.g. do we need carbs or fats? So take a look below at the expert advice to help with your fitness goals.
How far in advance should you eat before a workout ?
The general rule of thumb is two hours before a workout, this gives your digestive system time to break the food down so it can start its magic fuelling the muscles. A small snack eaten up to 1/2 an hour before exercise is fine, bananas are a perfect ‘turbo’ food as they break down quickly and give you a ‘quick fix’.
Is it best to eat certain foods based on the type of workout we plan to do? – e.g. carbs for running
A combination of all the food groups is always best but increasing certain food types can really enhance your performance. Carbs are great for running but it’s choosing the right sort of carbs. The night before a race marathon runners enjoy a huge pasta meal (no creamy sauce though!), the carbohydrates fuel the muscles with slow release energy helping the runner to stay the distance. Proteins are essential to help build muscle size which is why body builders eat so much chicken!
Energy drinks are so popular but with the caffeine and sugar, are they a good idea?
Energy drinks used wisely can be effective and helpful in certain circumstances but a reliance such as needing one before every workout I find quite worrying. Not all exercise needs the level of energy released via an extremely large shot of caffeine, I had a participant drink a Heat energy drink before my yoga class!
How much liquid do you need pre – during and post workout ?
I always encourage regular sips of water during the class, even my holistic classes. Hydrated muscles perform better, are more flexible which minimises the risk of injury. Dehydration can also sap your energy leaving you feeling lethargic which in turn effects your concentration making you vulnerable to injury. At least two litres a day is recommended however I know how hard that can be so aim to drink at least one glass before you leave the house in the morning and as much as you can during your workout.
There’s a lot of people talking about eating more protein to give energy and help with building muscle; is protein the secret weapon to having lean and healthy bodies?
I say it most definitely is! You can tailor your nutrition to suit your goals and it works like a dream! As you can see in the chart below from Bodybuilding.com the in the centre is almost equal amounts for maintenance.
How about you, what do you eat in a typical day when you’re going to work-out or lead a class?
Monday to Friday I start the day at 5.30am with three eggs, usually scrambled, half a cup of beans and depending what my first session is a decaffeinated or full power coffee! After my first class at 6.30am I have a bowl of porridge sweetened with honey and a decaf coffee with oat milk. Mid morning It’s a fruit only smoothie, if my break is longer I might have a herbal tea or a latte with almond milk. Lunch can be chicken rice and salad during maintenance or chicken, salad and vegetables if I’m preparing for a photo shoot, competition or holiday, yep, so much chicken!
Contact Debbie and learn more about her fitness coaching services at:
Attitude Fitness worldwide – 0044 7817 135661