Eating to Fuel Strength
Food is fuel, there is absolutely no doubt about it, and yet somehow over time we have started to develop a different opinion about its role in our life.
Unless you’ve been living in an isolated, wifi free, himalayan cave (which would go down perfectly for me right now, I’m currently about to board a rush-hour tube), you will probably have noticed the increased attention to food over the past decade. This is great - because now we are more open to sharing healthy recipes and food ideas, highlighting that healthy can be delicious and nutritious and that eating açai might very well make you a better person.
Thanks to advancements in technology food is much more pleasurable, an art form almost. It is also a very big part of our social lives and social media material, the fact that #foodporn is a very commonly used and understood word should speak volumes to that fact, also proving that it consumes a very big part of our minds, not just our bodies.
To eliminate the gargantuan amount of conflicting nutritional information there is out there, I aways recommend that my clients think of their food as fuel - that’s it. Everything from a Snickers bar to a lettuce leaf is a make up of Macro nutrients (protein, carbs, fats and fibre) and also Micro nutrients (various vitamins and minerals). So no, not all fuel comes with the same energy potential or even nutrient breakdown - but, it is all fuel.
Pre and post workout nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to carry around a supplement box the size of a supermodel's make up bag to be strong, lean and athletic. Instead, you just need to ensure you're getting a range of nutrients to fuel your goals - be it fat loss, muscle gain or a little of both.
Following on from my last blog post on strength training with New Balance, I wanted to give you guys some matching nutritional suggestions to go with it, including a few tips based around eating to fuel your workouts:
1. Protein is amazing and is made from amino acids. We are amino acid built organisms so it’s imperative for us to consume them, not just for our muscles, but also for our hair, skin, nails - all connective tissue really. I eat protein with nearly every meal, accept in the cases of an in-between-meal green juice or green salad where I am just trying to increase my greens consumption. If you don't achieve balanced and adequate amino acid consumption you will also find that you recover a lot slower which will ultimately slow down your results and leave you feeling really tired and grumpy - no amount of instagram fitspo is going to cure a protein deficient brain.
2. Consume your carbs around workouts. Carbohydrates are used for more than just energy, they actually help your muscles to recover through replenishing depleted glycogen stores in the muscles that occurred during the workout. Glycogen is the primary fuel your muscles use for energy production so it’s extremely important to replenish it. Now you can understand why you got so tired during that low-carb diet...
3. Eat fat to be phat - essential fatty acids are imperative for recovery from training. Essential because the body can’t produce them by itself, it needs additional help. These two essential fatty acids are linoleic and Alpha-linoleic, these fatty acids are used to create specialised fats called Omega 3 and Omega 6. As well as disease prevention these fatty acids are also responsible for recovery, the faster you recover from your workouts, the more intense your training regime can be, the more intense your regime the better and more efficient the results.
Here is an example of a post workout smoothie (after a weight training, strength session):
Protein: 30g Rice & Pea Protein or 30g Whey
Carb: 100g Mango & 100g mixed berries (on top)
Fat: teaspoon coconut oil (while it isn’t omega 3, 6 or 9 it contains amazing muscle sculpting benefits including the stimulation of insulin secretion and the replenishing of intramuscular fatty acids to again support recovery).
Ice - Sh*t loads of it because ice just makes all smoothies better
Oat Mylk (but feel free to use whichever you prefer)
Blend and Consume!
Ps. My gorgeous purple shoes come from New Balance of course! I get so many questions about these bright babies via social media. They are Boracay V2's and they make you feel like you're running on a gymnastics sprung floor. If only I had these when I was a gymnast!