The Basics of Gym Nutrition

Food is fuel. You are what you eat. You don’t have to eat less; you just have to eat right. We’re saving you the stress of wading through food clichés and conflicting dietary advice by getting down to the basics of good gym nutrition. 

The Nuts and Bolts of Gym Nutrition

No matter your exercise regime, your meals before and after exercising should major in the three macronutrients, the building blocks of health: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. 

Proteins make sense, especially for strength training. It’s fairly common knowledge that proteins build and repair muscles – it’s the reason Mr Strong (from the Mr Men books) feasts on dozens of eggs every day! But eggs are not for everyone, so include lean meats, fish, dairy, legumes and/or nuts in your gym nutrition. 

Influencers may preach the virtues of low-carb diets, but you need carbs, especially for exercise! They are your body’s favourite fuel, powering your brain, protecting your muscles and providing a vital energy source. Unprocessed carbohydrates are better, such as whole grains, oats, sweet potatoes, fruit and vegetables. 

Although it may feel counterintuitive, you need fats to build energy reserves, absorb vitamins and protect organs. Like carbohydrates, there are healthier fats out there, like nuts, seeds and fish. Avocado is a treasure trove of monounsaturated fats and potassium electrolyte, making the ultimate millennial lunch of avocado on toast a very attractive post-workout prospect.

Isn’t Snacking Bad?

Everyone’s routines are different, but pounding away at the treadmill immediately after a stodgy breakfast will have the same ugly consequences for everyone. On the other hand, exercising without enough fuel in your system is a bad move, leading to low concentration and fatigue. This is why we recommend a light, easily digestible snack to nibble on in the cafe, or on the bus, on the way to the gym. Leave approximately three hours for your previous meal to digest and then give yourself a boost with a pot of porridge or some fruit – a banana is a terrific store of starchy energy. 

After you cool down, you need to replenish your body’s storehouse. If you won’t get the chance to eat a meal within two hours, then something similar to your pre-gym snack will suffice. Whizzing different components together in a smoothie is a portable and tasty option and will also restore fluids. 

Hydration is crucial!

It’s good to break a sweat, as long as you replace the water and salts that you lost. Keep drinking water throughout the first hour of exercise, and then you can turn to sports drinks. These contain electrolytes for hydration and muscle contraction, but are also high in sugar. That electrolyte-dense banana that you brought along earlier is a good alternative.

The crucial thing is not to get so carried away with push ups that you forget to hydrate, and so become fatigued, experiencing nausea, a high pulse and muscle cramps. None of those make for a very satisfactory workout!

Come See How It’s Done!

We know that proper gym nutrition is paramount, not just at home but pre and post workout too, which is why we have an in-house cafe offering food and drinks for all your various needs – including some ace smoothies. Before you start brainstorming your own gym nutrition plan, come along to our cafe for some foodspiration! 

You can find us at 58 Bedford St, Leamington Spa, CV32 5DT. Check out our website to see what classes, facilities and training we have to offer, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or queries!