What to eat before and after you work out

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by Tiffani Bachus, RD, Special to azfamily.com

azfamily.com

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 10:26 AM

PHOENIX -- We all want to make the most of our workouts. So what's the best way to refuel just before and after you hit the gym?

Here are some tips to help give you the energy you need to get the results that you want.

Eating a meal consisting of protein and slow-digesting carbs 60 to 90 minutes before your workout will help sustain blood-sugar levels throughout your workout.

Here is a good, well-balanced pre-workout meal.

Spice Scrambled Eggs 'n' Oats
1 whole egg
3 egg whites
1 Tbsp. water
1/3 cup dry rolled oats
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup fresh chopped spinach
1 Tbsp. salsa

In a bowl, whisk together egg, egg whites and water until frothy.

Stir in the oats and pepper. Allow to soak for 2 minutes.

Coat a skillet with cooking spray, then wipe away the excess spray with a paper towel. Heat the skillet over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and cook for 30 seconds.

Add spinach. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggs are firm. Remove to a plate and top with salsa.

You can rotate this breakfast between spicy day and sweet day. Sweet option: Nix the spinach, salsa and pepper, and add jelly, cinnamon, fruit and honey.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 257, Total Fats: 7 g, Saturated Fats: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 180 mg, Sodium: 371 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 26 g, Dietary Fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 23 g, Iron: 4 mg

If you plan to hit the gym but it’s been over 3 hours since your last meal you'll want to fuel up 30 minutes prior to your workout with a snack that is light—low in calories, fat, fiber, and sugar—and consists mostly of easily digested, low-glycemic complex carbohydrates.

30 min pre-workout snack
Rice cake + 2 tsp. almond butter + jelly
Greek yogurt + blueberries

Green smoothie
3/4 cup water
2 cups fresh spinach
1 kiwi
1 apple
Juice of 1/2a lime
1 tsp. ground flaxseed

The post-workout meal or snack is critical – no matter what time of the day you work out! Your body needs the nutrients within 30 to 60 minutes after your workout to build muscle and restore depleted glycogen levels. The post-workout snack should be a well-balanced combination of carbohydrates, protein, and a little fat.

Fruit smoothie
1/4 cup rice milk
1/4 cup water
Chobani pomegranate yogurt
1 Tbsp raw beet
1 apple
1/2 c frozen strawberries

Protein shake
1 scoop whey protein Water or milk (rice, almond, 1 percent or skim)

Other good options include Greek yogurt and berries or millet bread, cottage cheese and blueberries.


For more information about Tiffani Bachus, check out TotalBalanced Body.com or her Facebook page, Facebook.com/tiffani.bachus

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