Fork It Friday: Pre & Post Eating Habits

A very common, and very debatable topic, is when, what, and how much to eat before and after a workout.

However, just like everything else in health & fitness, it is completely individual, and YOU have to do the grunt work to figure out what works best for you and your needs.

Sorry, I do not have the magic pill, or the cookie-cutter answer tonight. ;-)

Example - I can eat literally right before a workout and be totally fine, and I actually do better with food in my belly, even if it’s still digesting, as opposed to an empty stomach, I have to eat before my workout! Often, I’ll eat 2-3 eggs with one slice of avocado toast, and sometimes even 2-3 slices of bacon! I am also starving and need replenishment immediately after my workout. I can chug my protein shake and eat an entire hamburger with sweet potato fries within 10 minutes post-WOD. And, if I don’t get something in my belly within 30 minutes, I am HANGRY!

Now, on the flipside, my husband cannot stomach anything before and after a workout, not even a protein shake or a little banana. He actually gets sick to his stomach if he eats something right before the workout. He has to eat at least one to two hours beforehand. And, after the workout, he’s not hungry for at least a couple of hours. His stomach and body just do not perform well with food before and after a workout. He actually feels better and performs better on an empty stomach.

Different strokes for different folks.

Now, we’ve heard the studies that say you should ideally eat or drink something within 45 minutes post-workout, and sure, that would be probably good for most of us. But, my husband is one of those exceptions, and that’s okay. He knows what works well for him. And, he’s tried to force himself to, “do what the experts say,” but his body hated him for doing it.

At the end of the day, you know yourself best, and you need to listen to your body.

I once had a coach that insisted I used whey protein for my post-wod shakes. Well, I’m lactose-intolerant, folks. But, my coach said the benefits far outweighed the cons. He meant well. I obliged for a couple of weeks and found myself bloated, heavy-feeling, and super gassy. I started to fear heavy squats! I didn’t care how many “gainz” I was gonna get from whey protein, I threw that bucket away and found a better alternative for MY body. I now only use beef-isolate protein, or egg white protein.

So, trial and error, keep a journal if that helps, and figure out what works best for YOU and YOUR body. If you need professional guidance, ask a coach, or even better yet, find an awesome professional nutritionist who can work with you for an extended period of time.

Stop looking for the “answer” or the “secret,” and start paying attention to yourself. Really get to know yourself and figure out your best dietary regime for training.

Happy Fueling!

Kara PurvesComment