When it comes to health and fitness, it isn’t just about getting the workouts in. The other half would undeniably fall on your diet, and of course other factors like our sleep schedule and hydration levels. But what we eat, can not only contribute to the intended result we’re gearing towards, but also maximise our efforts in the gym or on our two feet.
Ensuring your body gets the foods it needs to recover and grow is the first step in making every workout count for even more, and seeing results faster – whether it be toner arms or an ‘easier’ workout because you’ve managed to get stronger. In order to determine what to put in our shopping cart, we sought out YoloFoods’ Sports Nutritionist, Jane Freeman, for advice. An internationally acclaimed dietitian, Freeman gives us the lowdown on the best foods to eat based on the workouts you do.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
If your choice of workout is this heart-rate booster, you know that this high intensity workout really blasts calories and burns those fats. And due to the amount of energy spent, after that 45 minutes or so you’re probably well worn out. To replenish energy and ensure your body recovers well, Freeman recommends the following:
“For this type of activity, it’s important to fuel up on a combination of whole grain carbohydrates and protein to repair muscle, prevent brain fog and low blood sugar after an effective routine. Some snacks you could make for yourself include a banana and peanut butter smoothie, tuna on wholegrain toast, or even YoloFood’s Honey Miso Salmon with Quinoa that’s delicious and only 480 calories.”
For those who prefer solo runs where you can get into your own headspace and sweat it out, Freeman advises to get adequate carbohydrates to really maximise your run.
“Despite what many people believe, cutting down on carbohydrates won’t (necessarily) result in fat loss – in fact, glucose (from carbohydrates) is absolutely necessary in order to optimally burn fat. For longer runs, fats are also needed in your diet, so you should be making sure your meals and snacks are high in carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron and sodium. This will sustain you after your run, and help you rebuild muscle fibers and restore glycogen levels. Throw together a cup of Greek yogurt and a piece of fruit (diced apples with a spoonful of nut butter is my favourite combination) for a quick and healthy snack, or I find YoloFood’s Fresh Herb & Lemon Turkey Breast a refreshing dish to have with a side of baby potatoes or rice.”
If you call the gym your second home, and really enjoy those tough sessions of deadlifts and squats , you may want to read on to see what Freeman recommends for a recovery meal in order to really build those muscles and improve endurance.
“If you’re into strength training, protein and whole grain carbohydrates are your best friends! To support your muscle growth and repair, it’s important to have a good mix of the two so that your body has what it needs. Eggs, chicken, lamb, cottage cheese and tofu are some of my favourite high-protein ingredients to include in my meals. I always have a pack of YoloFood’s Uncooked Lamb Kofta in the fridge, and I cook that up in a pan and serve with a side of brown rice – yum!”
Maybe intense workout routines aren’t really your thing, and you prefer something more low-impact like yoga , cycling or a nice swim. These exercises also need their respective recovery foods to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs.
“I love grabbing a handful of almonds or cashews to pop after a good yoga session, and replenishing electrolytes with a bottle of coconut water. A great snack to keep around you would be YoloFood’s Pistachio & Dates Energy Bites that are easy to carry around, and taste so good!”
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