You guys know that I am a fitness and health fanatic. But I’m also almost vegan – I still eat fish…and not consuming as much animal protein has honestly been very hard on me. To top that off, my workouts have suffered as a result of not having as much energy and now…I’m unhappy with my body. Just keeping it real around here! I know what it takes to get back to where I was before, which is why I am sharing my tried and true tips and tricks for everything diet, lifestyle, and fitness related. Think of it as coming on a reset journey with me. Today we’re starting with the basics: the best pre and post workout tips and tricks. 

Then, later this week, we’ll move on to food and specific workouts to make the most out of your fitness journey. 

So, let’s start with pre-workout musts:

1. Go for the carbs. Note: try to stay away from refined carbs. Think: sweet potatoes or peanut butter and an apple. Think of “good” carbs as fuel for your engine – AKA your muscles. This one is SO important…there have been many times recently where I just do not have the energy to put my all into a workout and it is because I haven’t eaten carbs beforehand. Rule of thumb is to eat 1-3 hours before you exercise. 

2. Load up on BCAA’s. BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids, and this product usually comes in a powder form. I mix mine with a yummy smoothie because the taste alone with water is quite chalky. What they do is reduce the rate of protein synthesis. What does this mean? Well, when you exercise, even while building muscle, you will lean up, therefore losing some muscle. BCAA’s help to keep this from happening, and they also protect your muscles from being sore after a workout. In my experience using them, I also feel a lot more energized. 

3. Drink a coffee. Speaking of energy, drinking a coffee or a caffeinated beverage before working out (usually at least 30 minutes beforehand) helps with energy levels and thus helps you burn more calories. When I drank a tall Americano from Starbucks each day before exercising, I did see a huge difference in my physique. 

Post-workout musts:

1. Load up on carbs and protein immediately. Your body uses glycogen, which is stored energy in your muscles. To prompt muscle growth, you need to replenish what has been lost. I go for a 3:1 ratio of carbs and protein after working out. To make things easy and totally scientifically accurate as the pre-workout gear up, I eat the same carb again and add in protein. I am not one who likes protein drinks, but if you do – it’s so much easier than heating up a piece of meat or other protein. I usually go with salmon. 

2. Drink lots of water. I drink water before, during, and after my workouts, but it is so important to replenish all of the water you’ve lost (sweat) after working out to prevent dehydration. This is the most important step for me during all phases of a workout!

I hope you’ll join along as I gear up for some serious butt-kicking in all aspects of my fitness journey!

xoxo, Lynn