Finding time for training during the week is never easy. We might have time only very early in the morning, during lunch break or very late in the evening after a long day at work. Eating well becomes challenging but don't worry: that’s totally normal.
Sometimes might happen that we skip meals, have no time for cooking, or we eat unbalanced meals, increasing the risk of a bad recovery, immediately linked to increased stress levels and possible skeletal muscle injuries.
We just said that is totally normal but believe us, eating well can be easier than you think: the secret is to plan your meals in advance, depending on your training schedule.
Simply read and apply these advices!
- Early morning Training
Early morning training requires a lot of sacrifice and a very good organization. Early alarm, gear and workout clothes ready and straight off to the training. If you train very early in the morning, you probably workout in fasted state and strive to optimize your time in order to arrive on time at work. Too often this leads to skipping breakfast before and after the workout because you just simply have no time.
What should I eat before my morning workout?
The fasted state training is a specific workout to train endurance, but, unless this is your goal (and unless you are in perfect condition, as fasted training also has its side effects on the immune system...), it is always better and recommended to eat something before training. Not a real breakfast, that you wouldn’t be able to digest in time, but it is important that you absorb easily-digestible sugars, easy to find in some foods like dried fruit, bread and jam (high quality bread and jam, with lower GI levels. Avoid refined flour and chose bread made of small spelt or ancient wheat varieties) or fresh fruit like banana.
It only takes few minutes to grab and eat some dried apricots or a banana, and also preparing a fruit jam sandwich is not that time consuming. You just need to have them at home.
If you don’t have time or hunger at all, the solution could be an energy gel or one (or half) energy bar, packed with fast absorption sugars and easy to take with you.
And what should I eat after workout?
Just be sure you have the right foods at home and you will always enjoy the right post workout snack. Proteins and sugars are the essential nutrients for perfect recovery and they should be eaten as soon as possible, after finishing workout, within 30 minutes.
Enjoy plant based yoghurt with fruit, nuts and oats and freshly squeezed citrus juice, or a healthy and delicious post workout smoothie made with fruit, plant milk and recovery protein powder.
- Workout on Lunch Break
If you train during lunch break, you probably skip lunch. If this is your case, in addition to an inadequate recovery, you might risk energy blackouts for the rest of the day, and excessive hunger in the evening.
In this cases, especially if you do not have time for a real and balanced lunch, simply be sure you have a complete breakfast plus a mid-morning healthy and real food snack like a protein bar, packed with protein, sugars and fats.
Right before training, snack with dried fruits, gels or energy bars that can provide fast assimilation sugars to your body, without digestion issues.
And what should I eat after my lunch training?
If you have time for a quick meal, here you have 2 options, better if home-made and always great for the on the go:
- the best nutritionally balanced meal is packed with whole grains (pasta, rice, spelt etc.) seasoned with a protein foods (such as tofu or legumes) and vegetables
- another good option is a mixed salad or soup enriched with protein foods (beans, hemp seeds, or nuts..), plus a fruit serving
For those who have less or no time, a drinkable recovery shake is a good solution. Just make sure the recovery product is made with an optimal proportion between sugars and proteins, is free from additives, contains premium quality proteins and enjoy the shake (based on water or plant milk) with seasonal fruit to ensure a good dose of vitamins and minerals in order to boost the antioxidant action.
NOTE: you can have the water + recovery product shaker immediately after training and just before the lunch.
- Training late at night
Training in the evening is a powerful stress relief after a long working day, but sometimes you can feel tired and without energy.
For this reason, it is important to nourish your body properly during the day, taking the energy, meal by meal, from breakfast, lunch and two or three snacks, that need to be easy to digest so they don’t overload and stress the digestive system. In particular, it is very important that your lunch is properly balanced and is packed with complex carbohydrates (contained in pasta or rice or other whole grains), lean protein foods (mentioned earlier), fruits and vegetables.
Best snacks are fresh or dehydrated fruit, nuts such as walnuts and almonds, or balanced all natural bars.
If you train very late in the evening and do not have time to make a real dinner, you have two options:
a. anticipate the dinner
b. replace dinner with the afternoon snack
+ plus, in both cases, enjoy an easy recovery snack at the end of workout.
If you plan to train at 8.30 / 9.00 pm and you have the opportunity to eat something around 6.00 / 6.30 pm, enjoy your favourite pre-workout snack or your home-made rice or pasta.
Immediately after the workout enjoy a fresh fruit serving and yogurt or your favourite recovery shake.
This way digestion will be easier, and your sleep would benefit ( and therefore, also your recovery! ).
Author: Phd Francesca Deriu