It is so important that you are fueling your body correctly both before and after a workout! When you are going to be burning a significant amount of calories, you have to make sure your are giving your body the energy and power to do so.
Running burns 100 calories per mile and tabata workouts burn tremendous amounts of calories as well- burning 13.5 calories per minute during tabata significantly increases your metabolism post-workout. Fueling for your workout requires some careful planning. Assuming that a student is eating a healthy diet on a daily basis, the following suggestions will make his or her experience a positive one!
- Drink plenty of water! Hydration is key during any exercise, but especially during an intense workout like tabata.
- Avoid large meals and “new to you” foods at least 2 hours prior to the workout. When we exercise intensely, blood is directed away from the stomach and into the muscles that are moving the body. Depending on your experience, fitness level and digestive cycle, this could cause stomach cramps, diarrhea or bloating.
- Keep pre-workout snacks light, and heavy on the carb side. Carbs are the only fuel that the muscles can use for aerobic activity- you need to eat carbs in order to exercise. Some examples would be:
- Fruit- watermelon, oranges, bananas, melon
- Pretzels or saltine crackers
- Greek yogurt
- Natural fruit juices diluted with water
- Don’t be afraid to try a cold snack prior to your workout, especially if you will be exercising in a warm room or outside. Popsicles or lightly sweetened (check the ingredients and keep the chemicals to a minimum) icy treats help the body to cool prior to a workout. Cooling the body prior to a session will allow more blood to stay in the muscles, sending less to the skin so an athlete’s heart rate remains lower, allowing for greater workout capacity and endurance!
- Post workout- remember to refuel and rehydrate! For sessions that last an hour or longer, look for a sports drink like Gatorade. The ideal recovery ratio is a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Three great examples are a turkey sandwich, wheat bread with almond butter or Greek yogurt with honey or fruit.
Enjoy these tips and I’ll see you at the studio!