After just a few classes at KX Pilates, you begin to feel the benefits. 50 minutes of a dynamic Pilates workout places our beautiful bodies in an intestine, a powerful and invigorating movement that leaves you feeling strong and energised. Whether you are heading into your first class or stepping into the 40-day challenge, the foods you eat around your KX workout will ensure your body effectively repairs and recovers. Ensuring each workout builds strength and stabile movement for a healthier tomorrow.
The strength that you are building during your class is created by specific Pilates movements in combination with the unique resistance from the reformer machines. Resistance exercise creates microscopic tears in muscles. This micro-damage causes blood and nutrients to rush into muscles to begin repair. We can all relate to the feeling of a challenging workout session followed by a slightly tender body following day. This feeling is due to a lack of nutrients getting to your muscles during or after your workout. To rebuild, repair and recover, we must get the required nutrients into our body around our KX workout.
Eating before your KX class is a personal preference. There have been studies recently conducted that suggest there may be some benefit to consuming protein and carbohydrates before resistance exercise. These benefits include improving recovery and increasing muscle protein synthesis (increase in muscle tissue). If your goals include improving maximising performance, increasing intensity or increasing strength, then eating before your workout would be beneficial.
Although the idea of a full stomach and jump boards is far from ideal, it may be valuable to include a light snack 1-2 hours before heading to your Pilates session. This snack should include a natural source of carbohydrates and protein, for example, 1 tablespoon of nut butter with 1 small-medium apple or ½ cup of natural Greek yoghurt with half a banana. Whether you are a 6 am workout fan or enjoy heading to your local KX studio after a day at work, eating before your workout may not always be achievable. Don’t panic! You can focus on your post-workout meal as this may be more valuable for gaining all the benefits from your KX workout.
The first 60-90 minutes after your session is your window of opportunity to eat for effective recovery and increase MPS. Resistance exercise creates microscopic tears in muscles causing blood and nutrients to rush into muscles to begin the repair. Our blood acts as a taxi, transporting and delivering essential nutrients to repair damaged tissue. Therefore, eating nourishing and nutrient-dense food will fill your body with the building blocks to rebuild a stronger and healthier you.
Within this eating window may be your next meal, such as breakfast or lunch. A well-balanced meal will be the perfect recovery from class, although this isn’t always the case and you may need to have a snack on hand. Either way, ensure you include 2 macronutrients, protein and carbohydrates. Recent studies show that the combination of these two macronutrients can maximise muscle recovery, improve body composition and increase metabolic rate.
Protein is made up of building blocks, known as amino acids. A particular amino acid known as leucine has been well studied for its influence on muscle protein synthesis (the growth of new muscle). It is important to know that our body is unable to make some amino acids and therefore we need to consume them through each nourishing meal. You can find these amino acids in foods such as nuts, organic non-GMO soy, dairy, fish and meat.
Unlike protein, our body can store carbohydrates/glucose and a major storage site is muscle tissue. During resistance exercise, this storage site is used for energy which depletes the amount of carbohydrate storage housed in our muscle tissue. During your post-exercise eating window, there is a great opportunity to restock this carbohydrate storage. These carbohydrates also catch a ride with the rush of blood and nutrients being transported quickly into our muscle tissue for repair. When we miss this opportunity to refuel, our body begins to tender and fatigued.
Your post-Pilates meal containing these two macronutrients, protein and carbohydrates, is a wonderful way to ensure all your hard work on the reformer today, makes you stronger tomorrow. Before you know it you’ll be trialling intermediate springs with breeze. Some easy examples of these include two poached eggs on sourdough with sautéed spinach and kale after your morning session, Choc blueberry smoothie (recipe below) for post lunchtime workout or a simple dinner Grilled salmon with potato mash after an evening workout at your studio.
Water is considered essential to our body. Around each cell in our body, there is water. It is needed for nutrient digestion and assimilation. It helps to remove waste via elimination pathways and assists in keeping our body temperature consistent. A drop in as little as 2% body weight from dehydration is shown to reduce physical and mental performance. Our body must retain a set amount of water to maintain its bodily functions. The Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand suggest that a 70kg adult would require 2.5-3L of water daily. This range does not take into consideration perspiration or water lost during exercise.
This nourishing smoothie is a simple and fast post Pilates meal that can be taken on the go and perfect for any time of the day. Blueberries are a vibrant source of antioxidants and contain anti-inflammatory compounds which are seen to improve muscle repair after exercise. To keep out gut happy and healthy, oats and cocoa contain pre-biotic fibres which are beneficial for our gut microbiome, plus who doesn’t enjoy a little touch of chocolate in their day! Cocoa is also an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral studied for its possible benefits in recovery and repair. Hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds are a great plant-based source of the amino acid leucine. Whether you choose plant-based milk such as soy, or you opt for cow-based milk, both contain amino acids required for muscle repair. They also contribute to your hydration levels, post-KX Pilates workout. Delicious and nutritious, quite literally!
What you’ll need:
1 cup frozen blueberries
1⁄2 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1 cup milk (cow or plant-based)
In a high-speed blender place blueberry, oats, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, milk and ½ of your cacao nibs.
Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, until smooth.
Pour into a large glass and top with remaining cacoa nibs to enjoy straight away!
Article by Leah Van Lambaart