Before going to the gym or heading for a workout, it’s always good to be mindful of what you eat. Although, I’m sure everyone who is an avid gym goer already has their set meals planned, it’s important to look at the natural fuel our bodies need to be digested before exercising.
Both the quick and slow digested foods listed below are protein-sustaining energy foods, eating these foods alongside carbs (and no, they are not the enemy), will help to increase the satiety feeling. We all know that a cheeky peanut butter protein bar may be a quick fix to give you that extra boost of energy before your workout, but good nutrition is essential to reach optimum energy and activity levels, so we need to consume as many nutrients as possible.
Depending on the time of day you are going to be working out, it is really important to understand protein-sustaining energy foods, and how they can help your workout. Looking at some of the main energy fuelling foods, here is what you should be eating if you are working out in the next 1-2 hours. Easy to digest foods like eggs, low-fat fish (cod/sole) and higher fat fish (salmon/trout) are perfect, one of my favourite recipes is the maple&CO Smoked Mackerel and Poached Eggs; soft poached eggs, lemon and chive spinach and smoked mackerel – delish!
When it comes to slower digested foods, chicken and turkey, like most meats, take much longer to digest. These proteins help sustain energy levels throughout the day and prevent blood sugar fluctuations, perfect for eating 3-5 hours before you head to the gym. Other foods in the slow digestion category include pulses, legumes, nuts and seeds, but you can reduce the digestion time of nuts and seeds by soaking them beforehand to make them more bioactive.
You can find some perfect examples of slow release protein-energy dishes in our new Maple Street Eats menu, if you are in the West London area, you can order it here – if not, why not take inspo? We would love to see your own recreations of our dishes – bold, balanced and big on flavour!