So maybe you sauntered rather than sprinted into the new year. There’s been quite a lot happening lately, and that’s ok! These tips to enrich your nutrition, to maximize the impact of your exercise, are great any time.
Particularly for those of us Greater than 50, in addition to strengthening our heart as well as other more visible muscles, exercise also is an enjoyable and effective self-care strategy. Who doesn’t enjoy that free side of endorphins with an order of sculpted abs? If you are going to make a healthy lifestyle change, this one packs lots of advantages, including mood elevation and better sleep.
And, when we add smart pre- and post-workout nutrition to our routine, we leverage the effectiveness of exercise on our bodies even more. But how much and what types of foods should you eat prior to and after working out for the best results?
The nutrients you consume prior to working out can make a big difference.
Like to have a good breakfast prior to working out? Enjoy! The key is to keep it early or light: 2-3 hours before exercise, whip up a healthy meal that combines protein, carbs, and some healthy fats. Oats with fruit/nuts is a good option. A tofu scramble with roasted veggies and a side of fruit; breakfast potatoes sauteed with a savory plant-based protein, like Beyond Breakfast Sausage®.
Unless you want to belch through your burpees, the closer to workout time, the smaller your morning meal should be. And, of you just aren’t a morning eater, sneaking in just a few few carbs and proteins with a healthful mini-meal like chilled Perennial Gut & Brain Vanilla (also great in coffee) provides energy for your workout. In addition to 8g of high-quality and complete plant-based proteins and the carbs you need, with very little fat, the creamy and refreshing drink also delivers pre-biotic fiber for healthy gut flora and DHA Omega-3s and calcium. Plus, some quenching hydration before the sweating starts. Now, don’t forget to allow some time for some good, deep stretching.
Make sure to stay hydrated – always have water with you and take frequent breaks to sip.
After some cool-down stretches, it’s optimal to have a mix of carbs and proteins within an hour after finishing exercise. The amount of nutrients needed depends on the type and duration of exercise. If today it was lower impact, not as cardio-intense—Pilates, yoga, a walk—a handful of almonds, a piece of fruit, and glass or two of water will do the trick. High impact or rigorous cardio exercise like running, HIIT, spinning, tennis? Replace lost nutrients and help heal and build muscle with a heartier snack.
An example might be a quinoa or brown rice bowl with your favorite veggies and lean protein; a slightly lighter nutrient-rich choice might be pita, hummus and cucumbers or a smoothie made with fresh fruit and smooth Perennial Gut & Brain chocolate. And, remember, water, water, water, water to replenish lost fluids.
Already on your way toward your 2021 fitness goals? Go you! Keep up the great work and become even more exercise-efficient with these nutrition tips. Lost your momentum or haven’t gotten started yet? No problem. The Lunar New Year starts February 12 (it’s the year of the Ox—as in, you’ll be strong as one!) and is a great time to start or recommit.