We all know that Nutrition and eating habits have a direct impact on how we function mentally, physically, and emotionally. We KNOW and FEEL the difference when we get it wrong, so it’s no wonder we spend a lot of our time trying to get it right!
As Trainers, one of the most common questions we’re asked is “what should I eat before my KX Session?” The majority of you ask to ensure you have enough energy to get the most out of your class, some, so you don’t feel the need to vomit during a challenging HIIT sequence(!), and others, just like trying new things.
To help you answer this question with a more rounded response, we’ve asked a few of our KX Fitzroy Trainers to shed a little light on what works well for them in terms of pre-workout snacks to help you along the way.
On a daily basis, ELEANOR has a full schedule of KX Barre, Aerial Performances, Coaching and her own Training keeping her occupied. She finds that what she eats before Training depends on what her body is telling her in regards to needing a protein or energy hit (or both!):
The perfect pre-training snack is a banana – you can never go wrong. If I need a bit more protein then I go for plain Greek yoghurt, sometimes with nuts and fruits or some muesli. When I really need energy I get a vegan muesli slice to get me started and keep me going for longer.
Much like Eleanor, SHANNON’s day is all over town; KX Pilates, KX Barre, Myotherapy, Aerial Performances and her own Training in between. It’s important to think about what type of training you’re doing, and how long you’ll be training for:
I don’t like to eat anything heavy before I workout, so I will generally go for a banana and a couple of almonds. If it’s a longer training session or a long run, I’ll also have some coconut water as I’ve found it helps to reduce muscle cramping and keeps up my fluids.
As Trainers, we’re very good at watching our schedules.
JOLENE, our KX Pilates and KX Yoga extraordinaire, knows that WHEN you eat, is just as important as what you eat, especially when you’re on the run:
I normally like to eat at least an hour prior to my workout. Life can get in the way, and sometimes we don’t have much time to prepare. When I need a little something to fill the hole, and still feel light, full of energy, and ready to go, I would normally have a smoothie, banana, or some nuts.
Sometimes however, if you’re like PAUL, you find the time be a little more indulgent and creative…
A banana is essential for a quick and easy natural way to fuel the start of my workout. However beforehand, I would’ve had a small bowl half filled with my home/self made ‘Kefir’ probiotic yoghurt mixed with a combination of nuts, goji berries, blueberries and dates with a drizzle of Maca powder and Manuka honey. This makes for an easy and quick mixture of protein, energy and natural sugar. Regardless of how you go about it, pre-exercise nutrition is a MUST. You should always eat something before your workout. You can’t be PUMPED UP AND BARRIER BREAKING on an empty tank!
The good news is, we don’t need to over think it. It is important to fuel your body with Carbs, Proteins and Good Fats, but it doesn’t need to be a science experiment. That is unless you’re performing at a higher than average level, or, you’re like SOPHIE. In that case, every variable should be considered:
I eat differently depending on the time of day I’m training and what type and duration of exercise I’m doing – I won’t eat the same fuel for a 3hr ride on the mountain bike as I do for a KX class. Despite this, my pre-activity snack always has carbs, protein and healthy fats together to maintain my blood sugar levels as even as possible to sustain my exercise. I find if I only have carbs then I’m hungry within the hour!! Some great examples are Greek yogurt with nuts and berries, homemade muesli or peanut butter on toast. Natural food is best too. I generally don’t eat packaged muesli bars as a food source apart from when I’m racing, as I find the missing protein and healthy fats just makes me hungrier.
As for me, I just eat. Nothing too fancy, nothing too filling. A general rule of thumb I like to follow; eat so you’re no longer hungry, but not so much that you’re full. Eat for your specific needs, and what your workout requires from you. Eat for fuel (and sometimes for fun), and make sure it gives you the KX-in the butt you require to HELP YOU GET THERE.
We hope this helps answer your question. If you would like to find out more information about what to eat before you train – talk to a Nutritionist or Dietician. You can also find some insightful information on the World Wide Web!
Check out the following links:
See you in the studio!
Photo via: The Nutrition Bar