Whether you are exercising to lose weight, gain muscle, train for sport, or simply maintain a healthy active lifestyle; what you eat plays a huge role in your success, sustainability, and energy levels. We’ve all heard that we ought to avoid excessive amounts of sugar, fat, salt and processed foods, but what does that leave left on the menu? To give you some options, we shine the light on 5 top training foods that can help you fuel your body before, during and after your workout.
A staple in many households, eggs are an excellent, versatile source of protein, helping you to recover from exercise and keep hunger at bay during the day. Boiled eggs are an easy option on the go, or when you need a bite to eat after your workout but you’re not ready for a full meal. After a big workout, add an egg to a smoothie for a protein hit, or combine these beauties with wholegrain toast for aided recovery and slow release carbs to sustain you for the day.
Serving suggestion: poach eggs in apple cider vinegar for a tasty, delicate breakfast, Alternatively, combine 2-3 eggs with a little milk, onion, tomato, and salmon for a protein rich, sustaining breakfast omelet.
A great source of low GI carbohydrates, providing slow release sustaining energy, meaning you feel energized for your workout or keeps your appetite at bay throughout the day. This sustained energy that Low GI carbohydrates provide also help to reduce reliance on high sugar snacks, as they prevent the need to seek that instant energy ‘hit’. Wholegrain toast is a great pre-workout breakfast, and an especially good post training meal when paired with eggs; combining carbs and protein simultaneously thereby taking care of your recovery post-workout, and setting you up for the rigors of the day.
Serving suggestion: If prefer to work out in the morning but find yourself waking up hungry, this is the pre-training snack for you: one slice of wholegrain toast with cottage cheese, tomato and cracked pepper- A tasty and refreshing pick me up before you start your session.
Bananas have been a staple on the sidelines of sports practice and games for a long time, and with good reason. Not only are they convenient, tasty and affordable; they also have substantial levels of carbohydrates and natural sugars to give you energy when you need it. Furthermore, Bananas are high in potassium, an important mineral for regulating water levels, and effective at preventing cramping during exercise.
Serving suggestion: A banana on its own can be a great pre-workout snack, especially prior to HIIT workouts when you need energy delivered quickly. At the other end of the session, the natural sweetness of bananas makes a great smoothie base. Simply add milk, a dash of vanilla or honey, and give or take your favourite protein powder (or an egg!) and you’ve got an excellent post exercise meal on the go.
If you prefer long cardio workouts of 45 minutes+ you may have noticed a dip in your energy levels before you are ready to stop. When we sweat, we lose hydration in the loss of fluid, but we also loose the essential electrolytes and salts that are excreted through sweating. Sipping on an electrolyte supplement mixed with water during long duration exercise can help mitigate the loss of vital electrolytes, helping you to feel alert and energized both during and after your workout. Follow the concentration recommendations on your supplement carefully to ensure a moderate level of added sugar. Most supplements will contain sugar to provide an extra energy boost, but this is best kept in moderation.
Serving suggestion:There may be some variation in the serving suggestions of your chosen electrolyte supplement, but for most sports drink powders one level scoop per 750ml of water is a good rule of thumb.
When you are looking for a lunch or dinner meal to nourish and aid your body’s recovery after exercise, it is hard to go past Salmon. A deliciously versatile fish, Salmon is also high in Omega3 fatty acids which have been shown to be great at reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure. Salmon in also rich in protein, and full of B vitamins to help you recover and restore before taking off on your next session.
Serving suggestion: Drizzle salmon steaks in soy, honey and ginger and bake in the oven for a deliciously delicate dinner option. The beauty of salmon is its versatility, combine with pasta or rice for a protein and carbohydrate combination, or with salad for a lighter meal. Smoked salmon is also a great post-training snack on baked rice or wheat crackers.
Remember! Training on the Concept2 Indoor Rower or SkiErg exercises both strength and endurance, meaning a combination of carbohydrates before, and protein after training will help you get the best out of your workout. These top 5 training foods provide a range of options to help fuel your goals, and we’d love to hear what is working for you! Share your tips in the comments below!