How to best fuel your body whilst training
In order for the body to train and function properly, the fuel given to it is important. You wouldn’t expect your car to run on empty, so it’s important to think of your body the same way. This week with the help of Wellness Guru - Kate Morton we give you our tips and tricks for fuelling your training.
What to eat before a workout
A snack 1-3 hours before training can give your body the much needed fuel to power you through the workout without overloading your digestive system. Save the heavier meal for after the workout but consume within an hour post workout to get those muscle healing qualities (see recipe below!).
Kates Tip: A piece of your favourite fruit gives you much needed glucose before your workout, a handful of nuts for healthy fat energy or a piece of toast with your favourite nut butter can really provide that extra hop in your step.
And what about Protein?
Protein is important in muscle recovery, but you might not need quite as much as you think. The average recommendation for protein according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is around .8-1.0 grams of protein per kgs. Consuming too much protein can be very hard on your kidneys and dehydrate you. Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to protein.
Kates Tip: focus on wholesome source of lean meats, nuts, peas, beans and legumes are great examples of high quality protein to fuel your workouts.
Don’t forget about Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin C is well known for its healing powers, and these powers are no different when it comes to our muscles. Vitamin C works to reduce the oxidative stress that is caused by our daily lives. These free radicals and unstable molecules in our body that are caused by stress can create inflammation. This is especially helpful to muscles as inflammation can reduce performance and recovery. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of Iron from plant sources (such as spinach). It is important to note that consuming more than the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA), 75-90 mg, has not shown increased benefits.
Kates tip: Consume fruits such as Oranges, lemons, berries, kiwi fruit & guava to get your daily Vitamin C fix.
Vitamin D + Calcium: Like your doctors have been telling you for years, you need both Vitamin D and Calcium to have healthy and strong bones for training to prevent common overuse injuries such as stress fractures.5 Taking proper care of your body helps to prevent injury from happening. Vitamin D & Calcium are often talked about together due to the fact you need adequate Vitamin D to properly absorb Calcium. It is for this reason that many Calcium rich foods are fortified with Vitamin D.
Kates Tip: Mushrooms, fortified dairy products such as milk and yogurt, egg yolks & fatty fish all help get that Vitamin D fuelling your body. Milk & other dairy products, spinach, kale, fortified milk alternatives such as soy, almond or coconut milks and broccoli help keep those calcium levels up.
The human body is up to 60% water so it is no surprise that water is an essential component to training and staying healthy.3 Not consuming enough water leads to dehydration, which affects things such as mood, weight, brain function, and muscle function. Proper hydration aids in muscle recovery and the lubrication of your joints. On average women need 2.7 L per day of water and men need about 3.7 L per day. These are just general recommendations but can be a helpful guide when trying to stay properly hydrated.
Kates Tip: A fun way to add flavour to hydration is by adding frozen fruit or lemon juice to your water.
Kate’s Plant Based Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie Recipe
- ½ banana
- 1 Tablespoon peanut butter (or your favorite substitute: cashew butter, almond butter etc.)
- ½ cup frozen mixed berries
- 1.5 cups spinach
- ¾ cup of water
Directions: Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth!
Why Kate loves this smoothie:
- It tastes amazing & is easy on the stomach after an intense workout
- It is full of vitamins and minerals
- Banana = potassium
- Spinach = iron
- Berries = vitamin C & antioxidants
- Peanut butter provides a great source of protein and fat to help your body rebuild the muscle you have just broken down
- The additional water aids in rehydration after training.
Learn more about Kate and get further wellness advice from her here: https://dietitianmarketplace.com/
1. Quadros, L. D. (2016). Ascorbic Acid and Performance: A Review. Vitamins & Minerals,05(01). doi:10.4172/2376-1318.1000136
2. Nutrient Recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2018, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx
3. Riebl SK, Davy BM. The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance. ACSM’s health & fitness journal. 2013;17(6):21-28. doi:10.1249/FIT.0b013e3182a9570f.
4. Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000. 5, Vitamin C. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK225480/
5. Moran, D. S., Heled, Y., Arbel, Y., Israeli, E., Finestone, A., Evans, R. K., & Yanovich, R. (2012). Dietary intake and stress fractures among elite male combat recruits. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,9(1), 6. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-6
6. Timing Your Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2018, from https://www.eatright.org/fitness/exercise/exercise-nutrition/timing-your-pre-and-post-workout-nutrition