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How to fuel your body for the ultimate workout

Have you ever gone to the gym and lifted heavier weights, reached exhaustion later, and hit that ‘on top of the world’ feeling? There’s a range of things that can contribute to a killer workout session – and the food you eat is one of them.

If you’re finding yourself lacking energy at the gym, maybe it’s time to see how you are fuelling your body beforehand. Many gym-goers will talk about the importance of post-workout nutrition known as the metabolic window or protein window to help muscle recovery. Studies have shown that ingesting protein and carbs before a workout is just as effective as post-workout nutrition for muscle recovery – but with the added benefit of maximising energy output.

What does a nutritious meal include?

Macronutrients such as fat, protein, and carbohydrates are essential in a well-balanced diet. Each macronutrient plays an important role before a workout.

According to Healthline, carbohydrates supply energy for high-intensity workouts whilst fats help fuel our body for longer, and protein assists in muscle recovery and growth.

When to eat before a workout

To maximise your workout, it’s recommended that we eat a complete meal containing carbs, fats, and protein anywhere between 2 – 3 hours before exercise. However, it’s important to note that you should try and eat easy-to-digest foods to avoid stomach discomfort within 60 minutes of exercise.

Now that we have a better understanding of the importance of pre-workout nutrition, let’s look at some meal ideas!

Meal ideas 2-3 hours before a workout

  • A whole-meal turkey sandwich with fresh avocado and lettuce
  • An egg omelette with mushrooms and bacon on whole-meal toast
  • Brown rice with chicken and roasted vegetables
  • Overnight oats topped with banana and blueberries
  • Banana and mixed berry smoothie with protein powder

Meal ideas 60 minutes or less before a workout

  • Protein bar or shake
  • Piece of fruit like a banana or apple
  • A slice of toast with almond butter or peanut butter
  • A bowl of Greek yogurt topped with blueberries, sliced almonds, and a drizzle of honey.
  • Two boiled eggs and a handful of almonds

It takes trying different foods to see what works best for you, but we hope the above helps to broaden your understanding of the importance of macronutrients and fuelling your body – not just for weight loss or strength gains – but for life!

Also, it’s worth noting, that we’re not nutritionists – we just love food and how it can enhance our workingout!

Looking for that extra bit of motivation?

We have a range of weekly group fitness classes on offer, check out our classes here. Or to learn more about fitness and wellbeing and connect with like-minded people, visit the Wellness Hub.