What to eat to support an active lifestyle?
Nutritional requirements prior to exercise differ depending on the intensity. So, what should you keep in mind to best support an active body?
Glucose availability influences your performance and endurance. The goal is the maximise your glucose storage pre-training.
During high intensity exercise, our muscle cells consume more energy than what is synthesised from liver glycogen and fat stores. Cells under stress rely heavily on blood glucose and (easily accessible0intracellular glycogen. Glucose availability is important to avoid hypoglycaemia and to maintain high CHO oxidation. For high intensity workouts, consume carbohydrates 20 hours prior to training betters our performance due to the increase in blood glucose. Choose good quality carbohydrates like Starchy fruits & wholemeal toast or pasta, potatoes, or rice) and add a source of fat and protein for satiety (nuts & seeds, nut butter, boiled eggs). Pair these foods for maximum results, for example; a banana & a handful of nuts, wholemeal toast & nut butter.
For low to moderate exercise likes Pilates, more energy is derived from fat oxidation therefore eating a high carbohydrate rich meal is less important as less glucose is required. Exercising in the fasted state could actually allow for higher levels of fat oxidation (lipolysis and beta oxidation) compared to exercise performed in the CHO fed state.
If you want to exercise fasted, leave at least 6 hours between your last meal and training. However, doing so is not recommended for those people prone to fainting, so listen to your body and personal preferences. Pre training snacks do not require you to be high in carbohydrates so try snacking on some veggie sticks & hummus pr a hard-boiled egg and a handful of nuts.
Post training requires you to replenish glycogen stores in the body and promote muscles recover.
Foods with high-GI or with high absorption rates facilitate glycogen replenishment. Combining fruit (which contains fructose & glucose)with protein increases the insulin response and the cells permeability to glucose. Consuming caffeine at the same time could also enhance glycogenre-synthesis.
Exercise results in heightened protein requirements due to the micro-tears at a cellular level. Consuming quality proteins post training supports muscles repair and aids this recovery. Look to include foods like eggs, tofu, beans & lean meats.
More than anything, when fuelling your body pre or post training, make sure you do what feels best for YOU!
Here's one of our favourite "on the go" healthy breakfast snacks, BREAKFAST EGG MUFFINS, packed with lots of vegetables and protein! Perfect for fuelling your body pre and/or post training!
BREAKFAST EGG MUFFINS
- 12 eggs
- 1/3 Cup milk of your choice
- 1 Punnet of Cherry Tomatoes (organic if possible)
- 100g of Baby Spinach
- 2 Hand fulls of Mushrooms
- Feta, olives (& optional caramelised onion)
-Salt, pepper, paprika, herbs of choice (oregano, basil)
- Pre-heat the over to 180deg
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, spices and herbs
- Chop up the tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and olives
- Incorporate chopped vegetables to the eggs, as well as the feta (crumbled)
- Dish out (using a ladle) into muffin paper cups
- Bake for about 30 minutes (until golden)
© 2021, Ember Pilates