Wondering what to eat before and after your next HIIT High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout?
This type of workout involves moving quickly between cardio, bodyweight exercises and weight bearing exercises. The combination of these movements elevates the heart rate and gets the muscles working hard. This means the body needs both energy and nutrients to perform and recuperate.
The intensity of HIIT can cause muscle loss if the body doesn’t have the nutrients to support it, which defeats the whole purpose of working out!
Here are a few nutrition tips to make your HIIT workout as effective as possible.
What to Eat Before a HIIT Workout
Carbs are energy- they provide fuel to exercise at our maximum levels. Without them, it is likely you’ll feel more sluggish than normal throughout the workout.
In addition to carbs, protein plays an important role in your pre-workout nutrient routine. Only a small amount of protein is needed, and it is ideal to consume easily digestible proteins, to prevent an upset stomach.
Here are a few quick snack ideas for 30-60 minutes before your workout:
- Apple with a hard-boiled egg
- Sliced banana on a rice cake
- Greek yogurt with berries
What to Eat After a HIIT Workout
Much like your pre-workout snack or meal, good carbs and lean proteins are most important for your post-workout. Once you’ve crushed your HIIT session, your body is depleted. Now, it’s time to replenish the energy used and recover those muscles.
Similar to the timing before a workout, you also want to consume your post-workout snack or meal within 30-60 minutes of your cool-down. If you can’t eat a meal right away, be sure to grab a snack within about 20 minutes for optimal recovery, so you don’t completely tank the rest of the day.
A few quick meal ideas for after your workout:
- Egg white omelet loaded with vegetables and a side of fruit
- Peanut butter and banana in a whole grain wrap
- A chicken or turkey sandwich wrap
Hydration is Key!
While eating right before and after a workout is important you can’t forget to hydrate. As we sweat we lose fluids that should be replenished following a workout but drinking enough water before your session is just as important.
Don’t let your performance decline part way through; be sure to stay hydrated during your workout, too. Drinking another 8-ounces for every 20 minutes of intense movement will keep you on your toes and pushing maximum performance.