This blog is sponsored by MegaFood®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I am asked quite often about what my pre and post-workout routines look like so I wanted to put together a quick video and this more comprehensive article of my Pre and Post Workout Routines to share some of regimen, my practices and non-negotiables – plus some simple tips that you might find helpful to implement into your own routines.
Like most things concerning health and wellness, I do not believe that there is a one-size-fits-all approach and this is no exception. It is important that you are always curious and open to listening to your own body; you need to consider the unique factors of your personal lifestyle along with your own individual goals and your current health state.
My Pre and Post Workout Routines
My Pre-Workout Routine:
Generally my pre-workout routine is quite simple. I tend to workout 5 to 6 days a week, it’s become a very important part of my daily ritual and setting aside time for workouts is a major priority for me. Not only do I find it supports my healthy lifestyle, but it’s so important for my mental and emotional health, as well.
I prefer to workout around 8 or 9am most mornings and since I personally feel my best when I work out in a fasted state, I generally wake up, have a large glass of water (many times it’s warm lemon water) and I just enjoy the quiet of the morning hours. Often, I will start my day with some meditation or deep breathing and then I’ll use the morning quiet time to check in with my calendar, to go over my to-do list and make a plan for the rest of the day.
Occasionally, I will enjoy a little caffeine prior to my workout, either by way of tea or a coffee, and on the rare occasion when I am looking for a boost to get me going I might enjoy a trusted pre-workout supplement.
My gym is quite close to my home so part of my daily routine involves my walk to and from the gym. It’s about 1.5 miles round tip and it is just enough to get me outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. It gives me time to video chat with my family back east or just appreciate nature and being away from my computer.
To me this practice has become as important to my day and my health as any heavy weights I’ll lift when I do get to the gym.
• Quiet time (meditation, deep breathing)
• Glass of water or warm lemon water
• Check out the calendar and plan out my day
• Coffee, tea or possibly a pre-workout
• Walk to the gym
My Post Workout Routine:
This is where things can vary a bit, because how I fuel post workout definitely differs. Every day can look a little bit different for me when it comes to food, as I prefer to eat both intentionally and intuitively. Though there are always going to be a few non-negotiables, especially when it concerns supporting my recovery.
How I eat post-workout is usually based on the type of workout I completed, how I am feeling and my current health and fitness goals. If my energy is high and I am feeling amazing post-workout, I will usually eat a typical balanced meal with a quality protein and healthy fats as the main focus of the meal with nutrient dense, whole food carbohydrates coming from dark leafy greens or another low glycemic veggie. Often this will be a big breakfast salad, with eggs and a leftover protein. Or maybe it’s sautéed dark leafy greens topped with some type of protein and adequate healthy fat like avocado or some olives.
If I did a really intense anaerobic or high-intensity workout and am feeling a bit more depleted post-workout than I would like – this for me is an indication that I need to replace some glucose. I will then have a very targeted refuel meal with protein and carbs as the main focus.
As someone who is fat adapted I really learned how to listen to my body to know what it needs and how to support it.
As I always do with my meals, even with a targeted refuel, I make healthy protein the main focus! I usually stick with my per meal protein goal as a starting point (this is usually somewhere around 25 to 35 grams) and when I am increasing my carbs, I will either match that 1:1 with carbs, so if I am consuming, say 30 grams of protein, I will include approximately 30 grams of whole food carbohydrates at the same time or if I am really looking to refuel on glucose, I will take the carbs upwards of double the protein, so with 25 grams of protein, that would mean 50 grams of carbohydrates.
If I am going for a true post-workout refueling I will either go for chicken breast or another lean, quality whole food protein source and a starchy vegetable or fruit or other whole food carbohydrate. If I am looking to keep it very simple or if nothing sounds particularly tasty, I will opt for a clean, post workout shake – using a serving of high quality complete amino acid profile protein powder and adding some fresh fruit or a starchy veggie and a little non-dairy almond or hemp milk. Again sticking with that 1:1 to 1:2 protein to carbs. I will say, as someone who doesn’t count or weigh food and I don’t track macros, all of this is usually a loose, eyeball-it type intuitive approach. I don’t believe eating should EVER be stressful.
Couple things to note: when I eat post workout, I generally prefer to consume my food within the hour right after my workout, whenever possible, as the protein consumed post workout is important for recovery and it will support the body in repairing and rebuilding muscle, since I do a lot of weightlifting and strength training, this is very important to me. (Again I don’t stress about this and if it doesn’t work out this way, so be it)
The Importance of Mindful Eating
I am always a BIG proponent of eating mindfully and supporting the digestion as a foundational approach, so it is always VERY important to me that I support my body in eating in a calm and relaxed state where the parasympathetic nervous system (aka rest and digest) is triggered on. A high intensity workout can absolutely cause a temporary stress response in the body, which is totally normal, but if I know that my sympathetic nervous system is dominant when I sit down to eat a meal, I can basically guarantee that my digestion will not function optimally, which means my body may struggle to breakdown and assimilate the important nutrients it needs to recover and of course, I always want to avoid that. Generally if this is the case, l will both give my body a minimum of 30 minutes or so to relax and I will also implement deep, conscious belly breathing to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which is necessary for proper digestion. You can learn more about how and why to eat mindfully here.
My Big Post Workout Non-Negotiable
Another post workout non-negotiable for me, no matter what I am eating, is turmeric. Turmeric is one of only a few supplements that I make sure I take EVERY SINGLE DAY. Turmeric has been shown to play a key role in maintaining a healthy whole body inflammation response,* which of course is important after a workout, but I believe for anyone seeking a healthy, vibrant life.
I use MegaFood’s Turmeric products that feature real, organic turmeric root, healthful compounds, whole food phytonutrients and extracts, including organic black pepper extract which is a cofactor that supports the absorption of curcuminoids (which alone are very difficult for the body to assimilate).*
I will either take they Turmeric Strength for Whole Body in supplement form, or if I am making a post workout shake or smoothie, I will add in the MegaFood Turmeric Nutrient Booster Powder. In the winter months, I love making a warm, frothy turmeric golden milk latte or a savory golden bone broth latte as part of my day – you can find the links to these recipes below.
For those who don’t love taking supplements or mixing up your own tasty concoctions, you can always try their new Turmeric Inflammation Response Gummies – they are easy to take, super yummy and contain no high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, sweeteners, or sugar coating, and have only 2 grams of sugar or less per serving!}
Whichever MegaFood turmeric product is right for you, you can trust that it includes real food sourced from trusted farm partners with added nutrients and it is certified glyphosate residue free, Non-GMO Project Verified, tested for 125+ pesticides and herbicides and is free from gluten, dairy and soy.
• Walk home
• Balanced meal – protein being the focus and adjusting otherwise based on my workout
• Eat within an hour, when possible
• Practice mindful eating
• Turmeric supplement to support recovery
I would love to hear from you in the comments below, how do you fuel and support your body pre and post workout, what are YOUR non-negotiables?
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.