How should you fuel your holiday home workouts? Is there a difference in how you should fuel for a home workout versus your usual training? You are in the right place to find out!
Do I need to fuel for my holiday home workouts?
Yes! Home workouts may not be as intense as a normal training session, but the general fueling principles still apply! You are training like a high-level athlete so you need to fuel like one. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are not a high-level athlete because you are at home!
Why is it important to fuel before a home workout?
Let’s use your car as an example. If you are going on a road trip, what would be the first thing you would do?
You would pack up your car and head to the gas station to fill up your gas tank. It would be silly to start your road trip with an empty tank. So why would you start your workout with no fuel in YOUR fuel tank? The same principle applies to your body! You won’t get the most out of your training session with an empty fuel tank.
Fueling your body before training will give you the energy to push yourself hard to get stronger and succeed at a high level. Your body will not be able to maximize the benefits from a workout without having fuel in the tank.
What should I eat before a home workout?
Before working out, I recommend prioritizing carbohydrates. You store carbohydrates in the muscles that are used as energy sources for high-intensity training! Carbohydrate stores in the body are limited and fueling with some before training can help top off these stores.
Before your workout, try 30-60 grams of carbohydrates to top off energy stores and increase performance. Some athlete favorites are bananas, applesauce, a small bag of pretzels, a handful of dried fruit, or even a slice of Banana Bread!
How long before my workout should I eat?
It depends on how much time you have! I recommend eating a meal 2 hours before training. Though recommended, I know that is not always possible. If you have 2 hours before training, then eating a well-balanced meal is ideal.
An example of a meal 2 hours before could be Overnight Oats with a scoop of protein powder, fruit, and a spoonful of nut butter!
If you eat less than 1 hour before training, I recommend using the carbohydrate guidelines listed in the section above; 30-60 grams of carbohydrates.
Do I need to fuel after my home workout?
Yes! Fueling after your workout will jump-start the recovery process so you can reap the benefits of your hard work!
What should I eat after my workout?
After a workout, you should prioritize protein and carbohydrates. I recommend 20-30 grams of protein paired with at least 60 grams of carbohydrates. If you are going to have a meal within an hour of your workout, follow the Practice Day Performance Plate from the Performance Plate Method.
If you aren’t familiar with the Performance Plate Method (PPM), it is the easy nutrition approach that athletes use in the Performance Fueling Club. The Practice Day Performance Plate is broken down into 1/3 carbohydrate, 1/3 protein, and 1/3 color. An example post-workout meal following the PPM could be 1.5 cups of pasta with tomato sauce, a cup of cooked veggies, and 3-4 oz of ground beef.
If a post-workout meal is not possible, then I recommend a post-workout snack! A sample fueling focus is presented here. You still need carbohydrates and protein to maximize your recovery! Examples of post-workout snacks with protein and carbohydrates are below.
- Protein shake and a banana
- Cheese sticks and crackers
- Beef jerky stick + pretzels
How can I fuel myself with fun holiday foods?
Holiday foods can be fun to fuel with! I recommend incorporating holiday foods into your fueling plan. A sustainable fueling plan includes foods you love. Here are three examples of snacks/meals made with leftover holiday foods!
- Peanut butter and cranberry sauce sandwich
- Ham sandwich with glazed carrots on the side
- Steak with mashed potatoes and green beans
You can fuel with any foods you like/want! Fun foods make a fueling plan enjoyable and sustainable. It’s important to enjoy your fueling plan!