Workout Nutrition, and What’s Up with Fasted Cardio 

Did you know July and August bring the second most indulgent time of the year after Christmas.

BBQs, ice cream cones and rose’… that care free summer attitude often means we’re a little less disciplined when it comes to nutrition.

I say live your life and enjoy some of those summertime treats! But recognize that you have to put in work and stay consistent with a workout schedule if you want to maintain your current fitness level, and weight.

Part of staying on track with workouts involves how you fuel yourself. If you’re having a hard time motivating or you’re feeling sluggish during workouts take a closer look at nutrition.
What to eat Pre-workout 

The point behind a pre–workout meal is to raise the amino acid levels in your blood during the workout. This promotes both muscle protein synthesis, and inhibits muscle protein breakdown.

These days there’s a ton of hype around fasted cardio. While fasted cardio – choosing not to eat before a workout – has some benefits its not for everyone. Fasted cardio is what it sounds like ; Essentially it means exercising in a state where your body is no longer processing or digesting food.

The major benefit is an individual can potentially burn more stored fat.  If you eat before exercising, your body will burn calories from your most recent meal vs tapping into its fat stores for energy.

However when working out on an empty stomach your body eventually kicks into survival mode, and you may not have the energy to workout at full capacity.

Ultimately I tell my clients to experiment with both methods. Those who work out first thing in the morning have the most success with fasted cardio. If you’re working out later in the day it almost always makes sense to give your body fuel beforehand. Typically eating 1-3 hours before feels best.

You’ll want a combination of complex carbs, and healthy fat. Avoid saturated fats as they digest slower in your stomach, and take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles.

Here’s some Pre-Workout Ideas:

  • Whole wheat toast with PB or almond butter, and 1/3 banana
  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • Apple and 1 tbsp peanut or almond butter
  • 1-2 rice cakes topped with1 tbsp of nut butter, or 1/3 avocado
  • Oatmeal with a tbsp of peanut butter and ½ cup of fruit
  • 4-ounces of baked salmon or chicken, ¾ cup of brown rice, with 1 cup of roasted veggies (*typically works best 2-3 hours prior)
What to eat Post-Workout 
Choose a combo of protein, and whole grain carbs. This will replenish lost glycogen. Protein is really key to help muscles rebuild and repair. It also helps you see faster results from your workout,
Here’s some Post-Workout Ideas:
  • Protein shake made with half banana, one scoop of protein powder, almond milk, and hemp seeds (awesome protein source)
  • 1 organic string cheese with 1/2 apple and 1 tbsp nut butter
  • Salad with grilled chicken, vegetables, and olive oil and vinegar
  • Sautéed or steamed vegetables with non-GMO tofu (1/2 cup)
  • Quinoa bowl (1 cup) with black beans (1/2 cup) and hummus (2 tbsps)
Follow @FitnessBeth for more healthy meal ideas, and workout tips.

About author View all posts

Beth Funari Sims

Beth is an Athletic and Personal Trainer who specializes in working with women and kids. A health and wellness junkie who loves helping others reach their personal goals. She’s into cooking, whipping up healthy cocktails, reading in bed, and spending time with her husband, and one-year-old daughter. Beth relocated to Cleveland from NYC a few years ago, and now loves calling CLE home. Stay connected to Beth on Instagram @FitnessBeth

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