Fighting inflammation and reducing fatigue is one of the best ways to not only improve our health but also our performance during workouts. Having a consistent workout routine plays such a huge part in eliminating mental stress and increasing positive endorphins to the body, but on the flip side, it also puts stress on our muscles and increases lactic acid buildup. If we aren’t fuelling our body correctly, our workouts can start to break our body down instead of supporting it.
When our bodies don’t have the proper nutrition for the demand we place on our systems during workouts we risk fatigue, injury and potential damage to our hormones. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “You can’t out-work a poor diet.” In a lot of ways this statement is very true. When it comes to fitness and health, we always want to approach our plan of action with the mindset of setting ourselves up for longevity, not a quick fix. If we approach our food and fitness thinking long term we will not only feel better physically and mentally, we will also reap the long term benefits of less aches, body breakdown and inflammation.
I often get asked about pre and post workout drinks. If I use them? What would I recommend?
Although I have used different forms of stimulants in the past, I totally stay away from them for many reasons now! The boost of a stimulant is a short term gain which typically results in a very negative long term result. Whether it’s caffeine or another form of stimulant you’re using before your workouts, these energy boosting products often lead to damaged adrenal systems, anxiety, mood swings, poor skin and gut issues. So what are some delicious, natural ways of boosting our energy pre and post workout.
When I started weaning myself off stimulants, I decided instead of focusing on what I was going to have to give up, I would get excited about what I would get to put into my body! I decided in order to kick things like coffee, I would actually have to totally give up warm drinks for a season to re-train my body to crave fresh water and juices in the morning. In order to change our habits, we need to change our mindsets and avoid the pleasure traps we have created for ourselves. This process worked surprisingly well for me, and also inspired me to really focus on what I was giving my body for energy pre and post workout.
Juicing is one the best ways to quickly get nutrition into our muscles and blood stream. It’s also a great way to personalize exactly what your body needs for the season you are in. Whether you are long distance running, weight training or going through a period of light workouts for detoxing, There is a juice for you.
So what juices should you be drinking pre and post workout?
Before we workout we want to give our body a little bit of sugar for energy but also combine the natural sugars with fiber and vegetables that help our body to fight inflammation.
This anti-inflammation juice recipe from Blender Girl is one of my current favorites for my pre-workout drink. It’s the perfect combination of greens, a little zest from the ginger and just the right amount of sweet.
- 1 pear, cored
- 1 green apple, cored
- 2 ribs celery
- 1/2 lemon, peeled
- 2 1/2 cups romaine lettuce
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1-inch knob ginger root, plus more to taste
Try to purchase organic produce if possible. This way you can get the extra fiber from the skin being left on. If they are not organic, make sure to peel your vegetables and fruit.
Wash all items before juicing and enjoy immediately to get the most nutrition out of the juice.
For post workout, I love juices that are packed with tons of vitamins and minerals to re-fuel my body from the stress that has been placed on my system.
Things like celery hearts are amazing for reducing post workout inflammation and beets have nitrates to help bring more oxygen to the blood aiding in quicker recovery.
- 1 large organic beet peeled and quartered
- 2 organic celery hearts – rinsed with ends cut
- 2 organic romaine lettuce hearts
- 8 organic carrots