Are you on a plant-based diet but you’re concerned that you might not get enough protein from your regular meals to fuel your workouts? Don’t worry, this is one of the most common concerns for all vegetarians and vegans who want to boost their endurance, curb muscle soreness and maintain healthy energy levels. This is why, we want to share with you some nutritional adjustments that can help you overcome the challenges of a plant-based diet before and after working out.
Circuit training can work multiple muscles groups and it’s usually performed with no rest between intervals of working out. For these reasons, is important to eat the right foods that can boost energy and aid muscle recovery.
For circuit training, you should eat more carbs before working out. If you want rich in nutrients, satiating carbs that can keep you full for a longer period of time, you should eat more whole-grains, fresh fruits, sweet potatoes, oatmeal and dried fruits without added sugar. These foods are loaded with fiber and can provide you with consistent energy. Pair them with whole fats, plant-based proteins and greens that can maximize the nutrient absorption and help your muscle recover.
Here are several foods choices you can enjoy after circuit training:
- A veggie burger with a whole-grain bun but make sure you’ll stay clear of processed soy derivates
- A large bowl of salad with your choice of beans and lots of dark leafy greens
- A green smoothie with a plant-based milk, seeds and your selection of greens
- A delicious oatmeal from whole-grains with fruits and almonds butter
And the most important part, don’t forget to: HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE before and after your workouts!
Proper nutrition is very important to be fueled for long distance runs. A well-balanced meal that contains complex carbs, healthy fats and plant-based protein is once again, key before you begin your venture. We recommend you to eat fruits, beets, sweet potatoes, whole-grain toast, bananas before your run. These foods will prevent muscle breakdown when your body runs out of glucose. During your run you should eat more dried fruits like raisins and dates and after the run, you should include fluids rich in electrolytes, a smoothie packed with seeds, greens and fruits, nutritional yeast and a large salad with beans, greens and nuts to maximize the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
Although this sport gained a lot of popularity lately, even among women, there is still a lack of information related to the diet you need to perform weightlifting. Mostly you need animal protein but there are also a lot of plant-based choices that can maximize your muscle growth and strength. We recommend nuts, seeds and legumes that can help you achieve optimal muscle maintenance. Here are our favorite foods to eat before the weightlifting session: whole-grain oatmeal with nut butter and fruits, a smoothie with nuts, greens and high-carb fruits or a whole-grain toast with nut butter.
To minimize muscle soreness after the weightlifting session, you need to eat foods that are high in antioxidants and have strong anti-inflammatory properties. They promote muscle growth and recovery and they can fight against oxidative stress. Humus with veggies, tofu or edamame and a smoothie with nuts, high carb fruits and leafy greens contain crucial nutrients for repairing the muscle tissue.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
Centered on exercises with different intensity, HIIT will help you build cardiovascular endurance so you need to be able to keep your energy levels up. The dietary recommendation for this kind of training are pretty similar to the circuit training. So you need to eat fresh fruits, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens to gain vitality before workout and whole foods with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to maximize recovery after workout. Dates, whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce and veggies and a green smoothie with fruits, seeds and leafy greens should be enough an intensive dose of physical activity.
Yoga and Pilates
Although there is a lot of core-building work involved in exercises like Pilates and Yoga, you still need proper nutrition to support muscle recovery. We recommend you to eat raw veggies or a large leafy greens salad before these types of workout and foods that reduce oxidative stress and promote recovery after your Yoga or Pilates session. A brown rice paired with beans and veggies or a mix of dark berries that have a great antioxidant content are perfect to help your body feel better, faster.
In conclusion, if you want to refuel before and after workout while maintaining a vegetarian life style, it is very important to eat foods that can boost your energy levels and help you recover properly. Simply, add some of our suggestions and reap the benefits of all your hard work.