By Beau Jansen, CORE Pro-Elite Trainer, Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab
One of the most common questions I get asked from my clients is “What do I eat before my workout?” It’s seems like an easy question, but when it comes to diet I always start with the same answers: It depends.
What fuel the body needs to stay energized depends on three things.
Who is eating
When is the activity
What will you be doing
These question will help your nutritionist determine what the bodies needs are. Just like you pack your suitcase to fit the needs of each trip, you need to pack your cells with the nutrients they need that fit your situation. And each day, each workout that might change. Working with a trained nutrition professional can help you to customize your diet to help you find what works for you.
Now it might seem complicated, but overall there are a few basic principles of diet that can be applied to get you started. Here are my top three tips for finding your favorite food fuel.
Count on Carbs
Yes carbohydrates are still be the number one source of quick energy for the body. Choosing the right kind and right amount of carbs is key. Focus on whole foods like fruits bananas or berries which are high in antioxidants to support your recovery. If you tolerate grains some people do great with oats or quinoa, but aim for just ½ cup cooked as your regular serving size. Combining the two is ideal so that you get the best of both worlds.
For Power use Protein
Protein are the building blocks of the body. Foods rich in protein can help you gain more lean muscle and reduce fat. Many athletes don’t get enough protein in their diet, or it it not a good quality protein. According to Dr. Josh Axe, whey protein and collagen found in gelatin are some of the most beneficial forms for athletes. Now most people jump on the protein powder bandwagon, but you can get whey from natural sources like organic yogurt, kefir or raw milk too. Also be sure to include a 3-4 oz of protein at all your daily meals, these can include grass fed beef, organic chicken, lentils, pasture raises eggs and help seeds.
Whey provides a more absorbable source of protein than any other type of food or supplement and is easy to digest for most men, women and children. Which is why whey is the most popular protein supplement today, and for good reason. – Dr. Axe
Don’t Fear the Fat
Many people are still afraid of fatty foods, for fear they will make them gain more fat, and you might me working out to lose weight right? But healthy natural fats from whole foods are extremely beneficial for an active body. Some of the best fats include those from coconuts. Coconut oils is composed of medium chain fatty acids that the body actually burns for energy especially during endurance events. Other foods full of omega-3 fatty acids can help calm down inflammation to improve recovery time and help reduce injury. Omega-3s are found in cold water fish, nuts and seeds.
Now there are many other foods that are important for active people and finding the foods that are right for you is a personal journey.
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