MENOPAUSE MENU: This is Why Your Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition Matters

MENOPAUSE MENU: This is Why Your Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition Matters

Is there a magic window to eat before and after exercise?

Do you know why it is so important to consume quality nutrition after your workouts? What about before your workout? Is there a magic window for your pre- and post-workout meals? Let’s break it down:

Post-workout nutrition:

A combination of protein and carbohydrates is essential for optimal recovery and tissue repair. I like post-workout shakes because they are so easy – throw some good ingredients into a blender, and 💥 you get everything you need. My favorite combo is combining a scoop of protein powder, peanut butter, banana (I cut and freeze them for thicker consistency), almond milk, chia, and ice. Yum!! Although a shake is an easy way of replenishing nutrients after exercise, it is not the only way to go. The important thing is consuming a combination of quality ingredients.

The window of opportunity: 

There is much debate about what exactly the window is. 30 minutes is often preferred. Waiting beyond that 30 min window can reduce the effectiveness of nutrition absorption, especially glycogen replenishment. After your workout, your body is primed and ready to recover and to do so, it needs the appropriate nutrients. That readiness to absorb is at its best within that 30-min window. But don’t stress over having to eat during that 30-min window. Although it is ideal, your body will still benefit from consuming quality nutrients beyond that window.

Pre-workout nutrition: 

I’m a big fan of pre-workout nutrition because my favorite workouts are high-intensity and I need the fuel. There is plenty of research highlighting the benefit of pre-workout nutrition for those with the primary goal of increasing muscle size/strength, and/or engaging in high-intensity/long-distance training. Consuming a pre-exercise shake/meal within 1-2 hours before working out can greatly improve training performance. It makes complete sense. You wouldn’t drive a car across the country without enough gas in it, right? My go-to pre-workout snack is a peanut butter banana sandwich. I don’t care for shakes before my workout because I don’t feel they give the same amount of energy as solid foods. That’s my personal preference and you should definitely find what works for you. 

Both pre- and post-workout nutrition are important for different reasons. If you want the best training performance and maximum recovery: 

  1. Consume a pre-workout meal 1-2 hours before
  2. Consume a post-workout meal within 60 min after exercise. 
    Both should consist of high-quality protein/carbohydrates. 💪

Small habits such as adding pre- and post-workout nutrition can be a key factor in helping your body adequately recover and rest after a good workout.

Stay curious, unafraid, and armed with knowledge!

– Dr. Maria Luque