Looking for something to do with those Thanksgiving leftovers? Try out this healthy Thanksgiving Leftover Toast recipes from OH! Juice Café.
I was wondering what are the best foods to eat before and after a workout. Also, is it bad if you work out late at night consistently (10 PM- Midnight)?
Working out late at night is not a bad way to get your exercise if you get adequate restful sleep. Optimal eating before and after a workout is all relative to the timing, quantity and quality of the rest of your meals. After a complete meal one might not feel ready to work out for 2-3 hours, after the food has mostly emptied the stomach. If one hasn’t eaten in over 4 hours, a quick snack before working out is needed for best performance. Let’s suppose a couple of scenarios to answer your first question…
6 pm evening workout, before 7:30 dinner:
Hitting the gym after work usually means on an empty stomach if lunch was at noon or 1 pm. The fix is a 4-5 pm snack containing protein and complex carbohydrates of approx. 200-300 calories, depending on your goals. There are several options that suit these needs:
Apple + string cheese
2 oz. protein/energy bar (such as Rise®, Builder’s®, Larabar ALT, Macrobar, Detour SimpleTM, Balance® to name a few)
Half a homemade turkey sandwich
Fruited Greek yogurt cup + 2 graham cracker squares
1 cup cooked soybeans
After this workout you’d need to eat dinner right away (within 30 minutes). If there will be a delay, have a small recovery drink or a single-serve package of chocolate milk before you leave the locker room.
10 pm evening workout, after 7 pm dinner:
Letting your dinner settle before exercise is important not only for gut comfort, but also to allow the nutrients to fully get to your muscles. A pre-workout snack is not needed. If you feel a little depleted, perhaps an energy sports drink will perk you up. After your workout you don’t need much before bed, but enough to encourage muscle repletion and growth. Consider one of these options:
Bowl of hearty soup
1 cup mixed cottage cheese & fruit
Handful of baked pita chips + hummus to dip
1-2 hard boiled eggs + a soft pretzel
Read our previous answer to eating for late night exercise by clicking here.
This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.
LA Fitness RDN, Debbie James, helps answer a member question asking if it’s important to watch the foods you eat or simply maintain a calorie deficit.