When it comes to what to eat and when, common questions include, “What do you eat before you workout?” and then, the subsequent question, “Well, what do you eat after you workout?” The answer is going to be different for everyone, however, as a general rule, follow these guidelines:
These suggestions are assuming you workout in the morning.
*Keep it light
I start my morning with 1 to 2 ounces of gut-balancing probiotic followed by a shot of straight, fresh lemon juice with a pinch of cayenne – a small pinch of cayenne. The lemon with cayenne helps boost the metabolism and digestive enzymes.
I drink 8 to 16 ounces of water before I workout. Drinking water hydrates the body and stimulates the cells. Drinking water also gives a feeling of satiety. Drink water before, during and after your workout.
I do not eat food before my morning workout unless I am heading out on a 2+ hour hike, and even then, I eat very little before beginning and take a break to eat a snack in between. The reason I do not eat before a workout is because most foods make me nauseous during the workout and interfere with my workout performance. Also, eating the wrong types of foods before a workout (foods such as pancakes, bagels, pastries, and most cereals) can actually hinder the body’s metabolic response to the workout. For the most effective and fuel efficient workout, abstain from full meals beforehand. Each person is different, so if you must eat some food before your workout, keep it light and easily digestible. One-half to one “no sugar” or “low sugar” all-natural breakfast bar is a good place to start. Fermented gut-balancing foods are good choices and in small quantities – no more than 1/2 cup serving for women, 1/2 to 1 cup serving for men.
*Eat a balance of protein, “good carbs” and fiber within 30 minutes AFTER your workout.
Proteins may include: egg whites, eggs, nut butters such as almond, cashew, and walnut (avoid peanut butter due to its natural mold factor), nuts in raw form, seeds such as flax, chia, black sesame seeds, organic free-range chicken breast (baked, poached or lightly grilled), and wild caught salmon.
Good carbs include: sprouted bread, fresh steamed or raw vegetables such as squash varieties, red, yellow and orange bell peppers, cucumbers, kale, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus, and celery. Fruits such as fresh apples, wild berries like raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and dried goji berries, pears, and kiwi. All of these good carbs are excellent sources of fiber, as well.
My go-to Post-Workout Power Breakfast Snack includes maca root powder, see recipe below. For more on Maca Root powder and its healing effects on the body, read: Healing Maca Root
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Post-Workout Breakfast Snack
“Well, what do you eat after you workout?” The answer is going to be different for everyone, however, as a general rule, try this Post-Workout Breakfast Snack recipe.
- smidge (1/8 teaspoon) coconut oil
- 1 to 2 eggs (see instructions)
- 1/2 to 1 piece of sprouted bread, lightly toasted
- 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons almond or cashew butter
- 1/2 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon maca root powder
- pinch Himalayan or celtic sea salt
- pinch fresh ground black pepper
- Heat coconut oil in small skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add egg and scramble until just cooked through.
- Spread cashew butter onto sprouted bread and top with black sesame seeds, maca root powder and egg.
- Sprinkle egg with sea salt and black pepper; enjoy!
- *Note: depending upon your energy needs, consume 1/2 to 1 piece of lightly toasted sprouted bread with 1 to 2 eggs.