For vitality, we need clean air, clean water, quality rest, and ‘clean food’. By ‘clean’, we mean wholesome, natural, ‘real, food – powered with nutrients (minerals, vitamins,
Assuming we are living and eating ‘clean’ for the most part, fueling for
• prepare for a workout – so
• maintain energy throughout – so we perform at our best
Running on empty, or grabbing a chocolate bar on the go, does not provide the energy required to get the most from our workout. ‘Rewarding’ with a Starbucks muffin and skinny mocha Frappuccino
So what should we eat to get the most from our exercise routine?
Keeping it simple, foods are made up of:
1. Carbohydrate – our preferred and primary source of energy – in the form of glucose, or stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver for future use
2. Fats – our second source of energy (stored), provide protection and keep us healthy
3. Protein – breaks down into amino acids, which repair our cells, encourage growth and provide strength. This particularly applies to muscle tissue, which we tear down during strenuous or
Assuming our goal is to exercise to a moderately intense level, the guidelines here will suffice. Participants in Mega events, such as marathons and Ironmans, should consult a Sports Nutritionist in order to evaluate appropriate fueling to meet their specific objectives.
Consume primarily healthy carbohydrates, along with some protein, which ‘sit well’ and won’t cause discomfort or bloating (not the time to try a new food).
Below are some examples.
2-4 hours before workout meal (if working out later in the day)
• oatmeal or healthy cereal with fruits, some nuts/seeds
• a healthy soup with whole-grain bread
• whole-grain sandwich with tuna salad
Immediately before, and during exercise, carbs that are easily and more quickly digested, will provide immediate energy.
30 minutes – 1 hour before workout snack
• Fresh fruits or dried fruits (if digested well)
• Greek yogurt
• Small smoothie made with choice of milk, and fruit
• Healthy no/low-sugar cereal with milk of choice
• Healthy crisp bread with honey
Water, water, water – especially in hotter climates, H2O will suffice, unless your workout is intense and lasting more than an hour.
To help with dehydration and sweating, especially in hot, humid climates, I can recommend my go-to drink which I make up at home: Pure coconut water (which replaces lost electrolytes – potassium, magnesium, calcium), add some fresh fruit juice for glucose, a little salt to address sodium loss.
Where refueling is necessary, an easily digested carbohydrate should be consumed – a small ripe banana, melon, or light energy bar.
Within 30 minutes or so, consume a protein-based (to repair muscles) with carbohydrate (to restore energy) snack, which can be readily absorbed.
Some suggestions are:
• Smoothie with yogurt, almond milk
• Rice cakes with nut or seed butter, hummus
• Oatmeal with yogurt and seeds/nuts
The next meal should contain a mix of healthy carbohydrates, proteins
A few points to note:
• Where the goal is weight loss, pre-, during and post-exercise nutrition should not be compromised. An efficient and effective workout, designed to promote fat-loss, needs to be adequately supported with good nutrition. Watching portion sizes, reducing sugar, fat and alcohol intake at other times, 24/7, will achieve the desired results.
• Unless exercising intensely and for longer periods, commercial sports drinks and gels are not necessary, especially as these can be high in sugars and additives. People involved in intense training, or are challenged in staying hydrated and fueled, should consult a Sports Nutritionist for advice.
• Assuming a ‘clean’ and healthy diet, then protein powders are not necessary for most
Sporting activities and exercise contribute in a very significant way to a healthy
Delighted to share that I will be supporting the lovely ladies at Momentum Bootcamps with their Body-By-Momentum program, kicking off at my place August 31st. This is truly an amazing way for you to be inspired to get into an energizing fitness
Click below for more details(or you may also click the photo), and to sign up
When not not busy in my favourite role as mother to my two boys, I dedicate my time to educate, motivate and inspire us all to lead healthier, happier lives. This involves hosting Nutrition courses (in-class and online), corporate wellness talks, workshops and when I have time, private consultations.
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