For two weeks of media excitement, the Olympics take over our televisions and Twitter feeds, and do double duty getting us motivated for our own workouts. But John Williams’ epic Summon the Heroes isn’t the only thing we need to get our bodies moving… we also need proper nutrition.
When it comes to high performance athleticism, you need high performance fuel. But it’s just as easy to put nutritional needs on the backburner, as it is to make excuses for skipping the gym.
Fill your tank with premium fuel before, during, and after your workout (which is just as important as the workout itself). Give these tips a shotgun start:
Before: Super Simple Start
Before you start, it’s important to take in easy-to-digest carbohydrates that provide enough energy to get you through your workout. Many people swear by a banana, but don’t reach for it alone. Add a tablespoon or so of nut butter (we love almond butter) to provide some satiety and slow down the rate of sugar absorption.
During: Step Away From the Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are designed for folks doing intense physical activity over 60 to 90 minutes. Though they help rehydrate and maintain energy, they’re also filled with various forms of sugars that our bodies don’t need. If you’re trumping the hour mark in your workouts, try coconut water instead. Coconut water contains all of the same key elements, but naturally. With 5 types of electrolytes, 15 times the amount of potassium in sports drinks, and natural sugars, it has all of the good stuff minus the sugar overload, high-fructose corn syrups, and artificial colours and flavors.
After: Blend It, Baby
You need to replenish your glycogen stores after exercise for the best recovery. And though we’ve been told that chocolate milk is the perfect post-workout meal, it often contains plenty of frankenfood ingredients and, in general, dairy is difficult to digest. Instead, whip up a smoothie that includes carbohydrates, protein, and fat, ideally in a 4:1:0.5 ratio. Toss in some leafy greens and a squeeze of lemon for their alkalizing properties, since post-workout, your body is in an acidic state.
Recipe: Date-Nut Snack Bars
These snack bars are incredibly easy to make and use just a few ingredients. Use this as a base recipe to add in your favourite ingredients. For snacks on the go, individually wrap any leftovers for easy access when you’re running out the door. Plus they’re gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, corn, & yeast-free and vegan.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.
3. Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until the ingredients begin to stick together.
4. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until the top is firm to the touch.
5. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then cut into bars or squares. Enjoy warm or cool completely. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.