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Pre and Post Training Meals – What To Eat…

pre training meal


When I first started training hard 13 years ago my mates and I were focused on getting lots of protein in – just before training and just after. The quality didn’t matter – just as long as we got enough and that we had it within 60 minutes of training in order to take advantage of the ‘magic hour’ – getting protein in just after training to maximise muscle repair. There was a 5kg bucket of cheap WHEY protein powder in my room and I went through crazy amounts of it. I chose to ignore the stomach cramps and farts it gave me, because in my mind it was the key to building strength and muscle mass. Skip forward to today and I have a very different view on what types of food to eat, the quality of the food and the right time to eat it. I know what works for me, and when I stick to the right food I have an abundance of energy while I’m training and I recover quicker than I ever have before.

There are as many opinions on the right food to eat pre- and post-workout, as there are types of workouts. Although what I suggest here some may disagree with, I invite you to consider the guidelines on pre- and post-training nutrition I put forward and adapt them to suit your unique body. At the end of the day all of us have different bodies with different needs, so listen to your body, use common sense and do what feels right.

William Wolcott writes in his book ‘The Metabolic Typing Diet’ that our bodies require all three macronutrients in every meal we consume. The ratio of protein, carbohydrates and good quality fats that every individual requires will vary and I recommend getting a copy of William’s book to determine what ratio will help optimise your health. Pre- and post-training meals should follow the same principles according to your metabolic type just as any other meal would. The only difference I would suggest is to increase the ratio of carbohydrates in your post-workout meal in order to replace the extra glycogen used by your muscles in training.

A smoothie with fresh fruit, green leafy vegetables, coconut flesh, coconut water and a raw organic egg or two is a great post-training meal.

Pre-training meals are very individual once again. Some people will struggle to eat anything at all before training without feeling like they want to vomit. A good rule is to try and avoid slow digesting foods prior to training like dairy, lots of raw vegetables, red meat and processed food. If you train first thing in the morning try eating a piece of fruit with a handful of nuts or a poached egg. I would recommend to stay away from wheat bix and milk – this will fill your stomach and is more likely to give you stomach trouble during your workout. Another great pre-workout option is to drink the water and eat the flesh of a young coconut.

Eating food in its natural whole state often provides you with an easier-to-digest food with more nutrients and less additives and chemicals. It is for this reason that I avoid protein powders and other heavily refined foods. Organic eggs, meat, nuts and seeds are a great source of protein – providing you with a large spectrum of amino acids, allowing your body to fully utilise the protein for growth and repair.

The fuel we supply our bodies give us the calories, nutrients and vital life energy to promote growth, healing, healthy mental and emotional function and lots of energy. It is because of this that I choose wisely at every meal – I love food, I enjoy food, and I choose food that nourishes me.

Happy eating and training

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