Spinning, Hot Yoga, Pilates and Barre are all great ways to get and stay healthy, but what you eat before and after your practice can and will impact the results of your sessions and how you feel during and after. In fact, good eating habits not only make a difference in the quality of your practice sessions, but will also affect the results and benefits you wish to obtain and maintain.
Pre Workout:The most important thing is to be and maintain hydration. I prefer to practice spin or yoga on an empty stomach. It is vital to fuel your body with the right nutrients for muscle strength, endurance and energy but without proper hydration, you will feel it during class; cramping, nausea, light headedness are all signs of dehydration. By the time you reach for your water bottle, you most likely are already dehydrated. Electrolyte replenishments may be needed until your body calibrates to the stress and or heat during your workouts and those can be drank pre, during and post workouts. Due to the time it takes the body to digest a meal, it is best to eat at least two hours prior to your class. Stay clear from the “slower to digest” foods such as fried and or processed foods- they are not your friends during a workout! Think of your food as cumulative in effect… How you do daily and ongoing adds up- but don’t freak out and not come to class just because you ate like crap last night! Do your best..
- 1-2 Tbsp Nut butter
- Fruit; banana, berries, melon, apple
- Vegan Protein or Yogurt Smoothie
- Handful of nuts
- Water flavored with lemon or fruit
- Electrolytes or an energy drink
Immediate Post Workout:I prefer to get something simple and fruit based into my system immediately after, such as a Vegan Yogurt Lassi, or fresh fruit of any kind to replenish electrolytes and sugars. I also make my own Electrolyte replacement for during or after class that I love and is posted below.
Post Workout: It is best to consume your post workout meal within 30-60 minutes after your workout. During this period, you want to consume foods, which will be quickly absorbed into your digestive system supplying your muscles with vital nutrients, fast. After your workout, it’s important to restore your muscle glycogens so that your muscle tissue doesn’t breakdown. For that purpose, carbohydrates are the best to eat, which will help push nutrients into your muscle tissue faster. Protein intake during this time will help to build muscle, recover and adapt.
Post Workout ideas: Protein (legumes, tofu, tempeh, animal protein)+Whole Grain (brown rice, quinoa)+Vegetables (all kinds, you name it, the greener the better)This outline can be filled out with sandwiches, whole grain and gluten free pastas, other grains, preferably whole, and by steaming, sautéing, roasting, baking etc. It is good to have some raw, fresh foods with all meals; salads, avocados, sprouts along side some fermented foods which also act as an electrolyte replenishment in addition to offering up amazing gut health (sauerkraut, pickles, kimchee, fermented sauces)…Sweet potatoes are an amazing recovery fuel and are great to have on hand, already baked, to snack on. Veggies help to alkalize your system, meaning, all that time you spend working out and sweating up all of those toxins (alcohol, stress, caffeine, sugar), they will help to clean the rest up and out of your system through digestion and elimination.
If achieving optimal fitness is your goal, or just feeling awesome before, during and after your workouts, then carefully plan your pre and post workout nutrition. If you don’t supply your body with the proper nutrients necessary to repair, replenish, recover and adapt to the training stimulus it may feel more frustrating than necessary and that much more difficult to reach your goals. Think of it as quality in, quality out…You are what you eat- this is the fuel you are running on! The better quality nutrition you provide your body with, the better overall health you will experience. You know where to find us if you should have any questions…
Ellen’s Lemon Chia Seed Recovery Drink
During or after a hot yoga class this is amazeballs. Tart, tangy and sweet and so deliciously refreshing. Just drink, don’t worry about chewing however I have to say the best part is getting a stray chia seed caught in your teeth and finding it later is quite rewarding, especially during yoga. The chia seeds pack a punch of omega’3 fatty acids and they are historically known to be eaten by Mayan warriors for endurance. This is a win win. I make several jars in advance and store them in the fridge so its grab and go!
1T chia seeds
1/4c lemon juice or lime juice OR 2T Lemon 2T Lime
1T local organic honey or preferred natural sweetener
You can make this in advance! I use the ball pint jars but any portable drinking vessel will do.
Add the chia seeds, cover with about a cup of water and stir the seeds frequently or shake with the lid on for the 1st five minutes. The seeds will begin to swell. Then add the remaining ingredients, fill with remaining water not quite to the top and add ice prior to taking it with you so it’s cold. (if desired)