As you push through your Tough Mudder training, fuelling your body the right way will help you train for your next Tough Mudder event, but also continue on to your next fitness goal. So we’re giving you the quick and dirty on what you should eat before, during, and after your workout.
What you should be eating will be partly dictated by the time of day, but your pre-workout fuel should be made up of two things: carbohydrates and protein. Carbs provide the energy we need to perform, while protein supports and helps build our muscles.
If you’re working out first-thing in the morning (think 30 minutes after waking up), you’ll want to fuel up with a small dose of protein and carbs. Skimping on pre-work fuel could affect your performance, leave you feeling fatigued, and sabotage your long-term goals. So try ½ a cup of oats with protein powder, one or two eggs with a slice of toast, or a banana with peanut butter.
If you’re working out in the afternoon, you should focus on having your pre-workout meal 1-2 hrs before you workout based on your own body’s need. But what you fuel with will depend on what you’ve eaten earlier in the day. For example, if you had a big protein and carbohydrate filled lunch, you will want to focus on quick digesting carbs with some protein such as a cup of berries and a tablespoon of peanut butter. However, if it’s been a few hours since you’ve eaten lunch, you’ll want a nice mix of protein and carbs. Try a greek yogurt with berries, 10-15 grams of chicken or other lean meat and half a sweet potato, or even half an almond butter sandwich.
As you fuel up before your workout, do focus on quick/slow digesting carbohydrates, moderate protein, and drinking water (instead of sugary drinks), don’t eat foods that are high in fat or fibre, or fried to minimise stomach discomfort. By sticking to simple, clean ingredients you will fuel your workout and feel great during it.
During Your Workout
During your workout the most important thing your body needs is water. For every 30 minutes of exercise your body will need 300-500 millilitres of water to properly stay hydrated.
Working out longer than an hour? Your body will need some simple carbohydrates as extra energy for both the exercise itself and the muscle building and repair process that happens after you leave the gym.
Try these mid-workout snacks for training-session that last over an hour:
- ½- 1 serving of the fruit of your choice (1 cup of berries, half an apple, etc.)
- Frozen Berries in a Water Bottle
After your workout your body needs 250 – 300 millilitres of water, and at least 20 grams of protein, and 40 grams of carbohydrates. While some athletes may need more or less protein (the total amount of protein you need daily is based on your weight-one gram per pound of body weight) the protein to carbohydrate ratio should be 1:2. The protein and carb intake will help fuel the muscle repair/building process, re-supply calories, and make sure your body is meeting its macro-nutrients needs.
Try one of the following suggestions:
- Protein Smoothie (1 and ½ cups of liquid- water or non dairy milk, one cup frozen fruit, one serving of protein powder)
- One serving of quinoa, at least 20g of your favorite lean protein (chicken, low fat fish, egg whites, turkey, grass fed beef)
- One medium or small sweet potato, at least 20g of your favourite lean protein