Diet And Exercise: What To Eat To Fuel Your Workouts!
So it’s time to hit the gym - perhaps for the first time in a long time - and you’re looking to get the most out of your workout? Well, great training starts with great nutrition. Most world-class athletes know this. In fact, most would tell you nutrition is critical to their performance and success.
Most of us aren't world-class athletes, but the same principles apply. To live our best lives, and train at our best (whether that be a jog around the park, or going to a HIIT class) we still need to pay careful attention to what and when we’re eating to see the best results… both on and off the field, or in and out of the gym.
Dineamic at its core knows how to fuel success. Dineamic started over 10 years ago when an elite footballer, Jason Johnson, and a sports dietitian, Karen Inge, got together and created a new way to live nutritiously. We still feed elite athletes Australia-wide, and now we feed lots of other people too.
Rest assured, we’ve got you covered when it comes to fuelling your workout. Follow our tips below, and you’ll be feeling your best before, during and after your workouts. We’ll meet you at the finish line (i.e. end of this article)!
Timing is everything
Just like timing your runs, rides or workouts, the other important element related to time is when you’re eating, and fuelling your body. Your body is your vehicle, so you need to give it good quality fuel if you want it to run well - especially in the long run. And if you run on empty… you might break down!
It’s best to fuel up around 2 to 4 hours before your workout. Wait…but someone told you to be up at 6am and exercise on an empty stomach to burn fat? This might not have been the best advice for everyone. Working out on an empty stomach may burn valuable energy sources which could be good if you were trying to lose weight but you may also have low blood sugar levels which could leave you feeling a little shaky, nauseous and lightheaded.
Fuel up by eating nutritious carbohydrates (whole-grain cereals, whole-grain toast, whole grain pasta, brown rice, fruits and starchy vegetables). You should avoid foods or dishes high in saturated fat, as these food items consume a large amount of energy and time for digestion.
If you only have a limited amount of time before a workout, you might like to eat a snack that is easy to digest like a banana or a small berry smoothie before you train to ensure you have the fuel to get through and maximise on your workout.
Interested in fueling your workout the same way some of Australia’s best athletes do? Why not try our Smokey Chicken with Roasted Chat Potatoes, Corn & Black Bean Salsa, or our Beef Bolognese with Broccoli & Pasta!
During your workout
If you’re exercising for general health and fitness, you probably don’t need extra fuel throughout your workout. That’s generally because your body won’t require the extra energy.
Professional and endurance athletes, however, might choose to eat fruit and other foods and fluids to supply energy during their workouts and training sessions. Generally, these individuals are looking to ensure they’re topping up their blood sugar levels and preserving their glycogen (carbohydrate stores) as well as staying well hydrated and replacing electrolytes to ensure they can perform for longer, and recover better.
After your workout
Post-exercise nutrition is super important. It helps you recover, refuel, build muscle and improve future performance. After exercising - especially vigorous exercise - you’ll want to ensure you’re getting some carbohydrates and protein from your post workout meal.
How much protein should I have?
It’s everyone's favourite to debate. Whether you get your protein from a shake, or from whole foods that’s up to you (although we do prefer the real deal over a shake). But protein after exercise is important as it prevents protein breakdown and stimulates synthesis - which leads to maintained or increased muscle tissue.
A complete protein (one which contains all essential amino acids - you should “combination eat” if you’re vegetarian or vegan) is important. It varies from person to person, but you’ll generally want to consume about 20-40 grams of protein to maximise your ability to recover after exercise.
Want to tuck in to some delicious, farm fresh, perfectly portioned Dineamic meals after your workout? Forget the cooking and focus straight on your recovery. Try our Chicken & Mushroom Risotto, or our Lemongrass Pork with Sushi Rice & Rainbow Slaw
What about fluids?
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Staying hydrated is one of the most important parts when it comes to fuelling your workout. You should be well-hydrated, drinking water throughout the day. It’s handy to carry a water bottle with you so you’ve always got some water on hand.
When it comes to exercise, you need to ensure you’re sipping on water throughout to maintain your hydration, and subsequent performance. During exercise, especially in warmer conditions you can sweat hundreds of millilitres of fluid, or even litres in some cases!
Listen to your body
When it comes to workouts and fuelling your body, it’s easy to get caught up in the before, during and after your workout. To truly get the best from our exercise, and be at our best both physically and mentally, however, we know we need to maintain a healthy diet overall.
Shop with Dineamic for your sports nutrition today
Discover our high-performance meals and snacks just like the ones we supply to some of Australia’s premier athletes and sports teams. Shop meals for one, or curate your perfect meal plan today and feast on our perfectly portioned, farm fresh meals.