This post comes to us courtesy of nutritional counselor and certified personal trainer, Aynsley Kirshenbaum. You can learn more about Aynsley at http://aynsleykirshenbaum.com. Although the article was originally written for students of Beastanetics it applies to anybody participating in interval-training workouts.
So, you’ve been doing the Beastanetics workout or some other type of interval-training program. You’re feeling stronger, fitter and tougher. But are you maximizing your results? Eating right before and after your beastly bouts can have a huge impact on both your workouts and the way you feel the rest of the time.
For starters, are you adequately hydrated? Before exercising, you should down at least eight ounces of pure water. During your workout, drink another eight ounces at least and post workout up it to sixteen. If you feel thirsty, drink! If you don’t feel thirsty, drink anyway. And ditch the sugared, food coloring enhanced sports drinks, sodas and supplement waters. Plain old boring water is what you need.
You will have to discover if and when you should eat before you exercise. Some people do very well with a complex carbohydrate and protein rich breakfast before they work out and some people really perform better on an empty stomach. Trial and error works best here: try a banana with some almond butter, or plain yogurt and berries, or an apple and hardboiled egg an hour before your Beastanetics and see how you do. If you feel nauseous or sluggish, eat less next time or eat earlier or just wait until afterwards. BUT, everyone should eat as soon as they possibly can after a workout. Numerous studies show that muscles recover faster and stronger if you eat something with a high sugar content (like tropical fruit, not M&Ms) with something protein rich within an hour of ceasing exercise. Some of my favorites are that banana and almond butter, walnuts and unsweetened dried fruit, or if you were sweating profusely, coconut water and an egg.
And what to eat the rest of the day? Delicious veggies, fruits, whole grains and whole proteins! Beware of white flour, white sugar and white rice-they deplete your body of essential B vitamins and leave you sluggish. Beware of added sugars, added colors and ingredients you don’t understand-more often than not, they require your liver to work overtime detoxifying. Enjoy your favorite veggies at every possible meal and try new ones. If you have a sweet tooth, incorporate more sweet veggies into your life: steamed or roasted carrots and beets are incredibly delicious and so good for you. Nuts and fresh fruit are a great snack and extremely convenient and portable. Carrying a little packet of trail mix with you in case of hunger emergency will help you steer clear of chips, cookies, candy or other junk.
Finally, remember that alcohol provides seven calories per gram and absolutely zero nutrients. I’m going to let you come to your own conclusions about that, but there’s some food for thought.