July 10, 2010 by AnnMarie
I get asked a lot about what to eat before and after workouts and it’s a tough question to answer. I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, so I don’t feel comfortable telling people what they should eat. Everyone is different, so you have to find what works for you. Here are some things I’ve been asked about and promised I’d share here. These things work for me.
Q. Do you have any suggestions for what to eat before a workout?
A. I try not to eat no sooner than within 1.5 hours of a workout out. I have had success lately with soy burgers, celery with peanut butter, melon and low fat yogurts. I like almonds and cashews, but not before working out (remember, the oils in nuts get things moving, if you know what I mean). If I have them on hand I’ll eat them with lunch before I have a night workout. I also like special K almond for breakfast with almond milk if I’m going for a morning run. I used to eat whole wheat toaster waffle sandwiches with peanut butter and frozen blackberries. I also get lots of fluids throughout the day and drink Accelerade before (and sometimes during) any workout or run I do.
Q. Do you have any suggestions for what to eat after a workout?
A. I make an all natural fruit smoothie and toss in some protein powder. The recipe I whipped is:
1 fresh banana
5-6 frozen strawberries (or other frozen berries)
1 cup almond milk or pineapple juice (or other juice)
I scoop protein powder
1 tblsp flax seed (grind first then add to blender)
Now, if you want a fun smoothie, this one supposedly boosts your libido, but you didn’t hear that from me. Use the same recipe as above but add the following:
Handful of blueberries (replaces the strawberry)
Half an orange (or replace the milk or juice above with orange or other citrus juice)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup yogurt
Q. What type of protein powders do you recommend?
A. I don’t buy the giant, stylized barrels of protein mixes with names like Max Pro Jock Turbo Stoked Muscle Bulk Pump You Up!!!!! I personally use a vanilla flavored whey mix by Designer Whey. I strictly mix it in my fruit smoothies (see above) after a workout or for a meal replacement when I’m in a rush. I don’t recommend protein shakes before a workout – you’re just asking to get upset stomach. The Publix off Beach near 3rd St. had my powder on sale for only $7.50 a can (usually $12) and the website for Designer Whey has a $2 off coupon. I got 3 cans for only $5.50 each!
All the talk about protein vs carbs and when to eat what seems to change depending on who you ask. Sara Walsh sent me a link to a great article last week and I thought I’d post it here. As female athletes, I recommend you all take a look. It’s funny that this particular study suggests refueling with protein after a workout has no positive effect on a woman’s subsequent workouts. I say funny because as some of you have experienced, protein mixes tend to make us sick anyways!
If you have any recipes to share, send them along!