You’ve heard it before: prior to getting #UpNOut, you should have a little something to eat. But maybe it’s time you tried what Cynthia Sass, MHP, RD, sports nutrition consultant for the New York Rangers and New York Yankees and author of Slim Down Now, calls “splitting breakfast”—having some carbs pre-workout, then enjoying a meal packed with protein, good fat and veggies once you’ve finished your sweat session.
Eating before and after your workout serves a dual purpose: providing the necessary fuel your body needs to perform while training and helping to speed recovery after. While what you actually eat can (and should!) change depending on the length and intensity of your workout, these nutritional building blocks remain the same. Two breakfasts, speedier repeats. More weight on the rack. You get the drift.
“Carbs are the body’s preferred fuel source,” explains Sass. So eating some easy-to-digest carbs—like cooked oats or fruit—roughly 30 or 45 minutes before the start of your sweat session, will provide your body with the energy it needs, so you can push harder for longer. If you’re not starving when you wake up, even just a small banana will do the trick she says.
Once the weights are racked, you’re all stretched out and you’ve completed your routine, you can now indulge in your second half of breakfast. “Protein and fat are building blocks for maintaining, healing and repairing cells and tissue in the body,” says Sass, “so they’re best to consume post-exercise, when you’re in recovery mode.” That could mean whipping up an egg-white omelet with veggies and avocado after you finish your workout or grabbing a protein smoothie from your local juice shop if you’re on the go.
Looking for a few more A.M. ideas? Check out what these top trainers eat before they exercise. Anyone else planning a double breakfast now?
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