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Nutrition for Recovery – October Challenge

The CFL October challenge is to eat a piece of fruit before or after your workout.

Eating a piece of fruit before and/or after your workout will likely assist with higher energy levels during your workout, and also your post-workout recovery!

Nutrition for Recovery
There are so many different studies out there saying this or that about what to eat and when. It can be overwhelming! Honestly, all of the studies could be right, but none of the tactics may work for any of you. What has been proven to work time and time again for everyone is eating real whole foods. Focusing on eating a whole balanced meal about 2 hours before you workout and another whole balanced meal 0-2 hours after your workout is ideal for physical recovery.

What does a balanced meal made up of real food look like?
The best pre- and post-training meals will include some blend of high quality protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. For example, I eat:

-A banana (healthy carbohydrate)
-1 cup of white basmati rice (healthy carbohydrate)
-1 cup of sweet potatoes (healthy carbohydrate)
-¼ lb of shredded chicken (healthy lean protein)
-a handful of lacinato kale (vegetable)
-2 teaspoons of ghee (healthy fat)
-pickled beets (vegetable/healthy carbohydrate)
-seasoned with black pepper and turmeric and sometimes mustard

It is important to remember that everyone is different. Not everyone will like the food I eat to fuel pre and post-training, nor will they be able to tolerate it right after a workout. But everyone is different and that is the thing to remember. I guarantee that not everyone will like the above combination of food or be able to eat that right after their workout. The idea is not to copy it but to use it as a framework to build your own whole food post workout meal including mostly carbohydrates, lean protein and a small amount of healthy fat.

Eating whole foods provide an awesome blend of nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that build muscles, supply energy, decrease inflammation, and BOOST RECOVERY!!

Does timing matter?
In terms of time, you have about one to two hours on both sides of your training to still get maximal benefit. However, according to the most recent data, the total amount of protein and carbohydrate consumed over the course of the day is far more important to lean mass gain, fat loss, and performance than any specific nutrient timing strategy. For example, if you eat crappy food all day and then try to focus on eating better around your workouts it won’t help you in the long run. Focus on the whole day!

The challenge for October is to start small and think about eating whole nutritious foods and a great way to do that is pair it with something you already do…workout!!

Enjoy your workouts more by enjoying more healthy food all day long!!!

-Coach Emily

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