The Best Foods To Eat Pre And Post HIIT Session
If you take your fitness seriously and want to take your training to the next level, making smart food choices before and after your class is a must… particularly for any kind of high intensity training. In fact, fueling and refueling your body properly will boost your power and endurance during your workout, and ensure you recover in time to do it all again the next day.
Don’t know where to begin? We’ve made it easy with 10 simple snack ideas to eat before and after your Arena class!
BEFORE YOUR HIIT WORKOUT:
Put on a brave face and arm yourself with an energising snack that sits lightly in your stomach. Remember, during a HIIT workout you may be moving up and down, side to side and all around!
We recommend pre-workout carbohydrates, because your body is much more efficient at converting them into fuel, especially during high intensity exercise. Fats, on the other hand, are slow to digest, and require lots of oxygen to create energy. So when you’re struggling to breathe after a 60 second uphill sprint, you may fall short! Protein is also not a very efficient fuel source. Low GI carbohydrates are best, because they provide a consistent flow of energy for over an hour. Try to have your snack 45-60 minutes before hitting the gym.
Note – if you have eaten a main meal within 1.5-2 hours of your class, you may not need a pre-workout snack (especially if you are trying to lose weight!)
Our Top Picks:
– A banana
– Sliced apple with 1tbs cottage cheese OR 100% nut/seed paste (i.e. Mayver’s)
– A slice of Burgen multigrain toast with a thin spread of avocado
– Two Ryvita multigrain crackers with light Philadelphia cream cheese and jam
– Four Vita Weat 9 grain crackers with hommus
– A bowl of Greek yoghurt with honey and berries
– A green smoothie with frozen berries, half a banana, spinach and coconut water
– A ‘raw food’ bar, such as Naturally Nood, Emma and Toms LIFE, or Kez’s Kitchen Free and Naked
– Homemade bliss ball made with oats, dried fruits and nuts. Optional with protein powder.
– Homemade, wholefood oat and fruit slice
AFTER YOUR HIIT WORKOUT:
Well done – you survived! If you’re not planning on following up your workout with a main meal, a nourishing snack is worth considering! Studies show that the ideal post-exercise snack for men and women, to replenish energy stores and kick-start muscle recovery, has approximately 20g-40g of ‘high biological value’ protein (i.e. from dairy and animal sources), and some low-GI carbohydrates. If you’re vegan, make sure to mix different wholegrains, soy products and legumes to get the full range of amino acids. Furthermore, omega-3’s have been shown to reduce inflammation in muscle tissue post exercise, and delay/prevent muscle soreness and injury.
Consume your snack within 60 minutes post-exercise for maximum benefit. And – don’t forget to rehydrate!
Our Top Picks:
– 100g baked beans on one slice of Baker’s Delight Capeseed toast
– 170g of high protein yoghurt (i.e. Chobani) with chia seeds and low-sugar granola
– Two boiled eggs and ¼ avocado, split across two Ryvita crackers
– ½ cup low fat cottage cheese spread across 4-6 Vita-weat 9 grain crackers
– A small container of tinned tuna or salmon and 4 bean mix
– A piece of fruit, five cheese cubes and a handful of walnuts
– Protein shake (whey, soy, or rice and pea) with fresh fruit
– Two homemade protein balls (using protein powder, LSA, dates)
– Homemade frittata muffin with sweet potato, green veggies and feta cheese
– Thin slice of homemade high-protein bread with ricotta and honey (i.e. The Protein Bread Co)