Since we’re right in the middle of the 2019 Dubai Fitness Challenge, health and fitness is at the top of everyone’s mind. It’s great to be active every day for a minimum of 30 minutes, but what people also forget is that nutrition and food, is also important — not only for your recovery from your daily exercise, but also to maximise performance and body composition.
When it comes to food, there is no getting away from the saying “you are what you eat.” Put poor quality nutrients into your system and you’ll be getting less than optimal results.
A lot of personal trainers and fitness companies will lead you to believe that your diet needs to be overly technical and complicated ... so they can promote and sell their products or services as “unique.”
Keep things simple — because keeping things easy to understand and follow is the key to success and long-term results.
And here are the basics: Apply the stressor (exercising is a stress on the body, but a good stress, when done correctly) and recover from the stressor.
So, assuming you’re exercising or doing some type of training, then we have ticked that box and it’s onto the next phase of “recovery.”
Recovery can be broken into three parts:
3. Facilitated recovery methods like massage, ice baths, breathing drills etc.
There is no point in training hard if you can’t recover from it. If you can’t recover then you’ll be moving closer towards sickness or injury.
For today’s article, we’ll be focusing on the nutrition aspects of recovery to give you best results from all your training efforts during the #dubai30x30. The quicker we get the right nutrients into the cells post-workout, this will help you facilitate quicker recovery and results.
Why is it important to choose nutrient-dense forms of food?
If you take the flexible dieting approach and just eat processed foods (fast foods, cereals etc) that are devoid of minerals, vitamins and fatty acids, then you will be shortchanging your body’s ability to recover.
Focusing on natural, fresh and whole food sources will help make sure you’re going to meet your body’s requirements without as much need for supplementation.
Understanding that 100g or carbohydrates or protein are not all created equal. Some are quick digesting, slow digesting and have varying nutrient levels.
What foods are best post-workout?
Foods that can be digested and absorbed quickly are going to be the best option after your workout. After completing your workout, there is a window of time around 60 to 90 minutes that your body is sensitive and ready to absorb carbohydrates and proteins. So, factoring foods that can be absorbed quicker will help. If you have something big and heavy that takes several hours to digest, you will miss out on some of the benefits.
Quality sources of carbohydrates: here are 5 of our favourite options at @bestbodyco HQ
2. White potato or sweet potato
3. Banana, pineapple, dates
4. Rolled oats
NOTE: Aim for a minimum of 50g of total carbohydrates.
Quality sources of protein: here are 5 of our favourite options at @bestbodyco HQ
1. Turkey or chicken
3. Protein shake (vegan or whey protein)
4. Lentils or chickpeas (if following a plant-based diet)
5. White fish
NOTE: Aim for a minimum of 25-30g of total protein.
With nutrition, there are so many nuances when it comes to genetics, flavour preferences and how each individual responds. So, it’s important to be self-aware of how you feel when eating different foods. Some or all of our suggestions might work for you. However, there are times when people have digestive issues and certain intolerances, where you might not want to eat them or try different options that suit you.
Plus, one of the most overlooked factors is how you consume your food and the care around it. If you’re constantly eating on the run in a stressed state and not chewing your food properly, then this will affect how it is assimilated in your system.
Take the time to sit down and put your phone away to be present in mind for consuming food. Lowering your stress levels, chewing each mouthful will help the digestion process and aid that recovery process in helping you to achieve your best body.
Stay strong, eat well and be kind to your body. Enjoy the rest of #dubai30x30.
— Adam and Olivia Mccubbin are co-founders and head coaches at Best Body Co. They are running their own Dubai Fitness Challenge programme at Native Club Gym at Zabeel House by Jumeirah in the Greens every Saturday. To register, go to bestbodyco.com/bootcamp.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own. Always seek the advice of your doctor before making any health decisions.
POST-WORKOUT RECIPE: FOUR-INGREDIENT CINNAMON AND DARK CHOCOLATE SEA SALT PROTEIN COOKIES
Makes 5-6 cookies.
• 30g gluten-free oats
• 1 square 70 per cent dark chocolate with sea salt
• 1 scoop of whey protein
• 1 ripe banana
• Stevia (1 teaspoon, optional, to taste)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and line the oven tray with baking paper.
2. Mix up all the ingredients (except the chocolate) in a bowl.
3. Place the healthy cookie dough mixture on the tray in round circles and chop up the chocolate to sprinkle on top of the cookies.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Allow to cool.
5. Enjoy this deliciously healthy and high protein sweet treat post-workout.