HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a fast, rewarding way to get fit. What you eat, and when you eat it, makes a difference to your training – and to your results. Find out what you should eat before and after your next HIIT to max out your workout!
Eat Right (Most of the Time)
First, you can’t eat a diet of junk food and low-nutrition foods every day, then eat clean foods for a few hours before your next HIIT and get the best results!
For this to work, you need to eat nutritiously as standard. That doesn’t mean treats are off-limits, it just means that you need to make sure you’re fueling your body in the right way, most days, if not all of them.
HITT Means Never Running on Empty
Next, never get into a HIIT session on an empty stomach. An empty tank gets you nowhere. Not eating enough may leave you feeling faint or lethargic, and puts unnecessary stress on your body, just when you need it to work hard for you.
When you consider what you should eat before HIIT, think energy and fuel, rather than weighing your body down with too much heaviness. Pre-HIIT, you need the quick-burning energy that comes from carbohydrates. In fact, most of your nutrition just before HIIT should come from carbs. Why? Because carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in your muscles, ready to provide strength and endurance. When the glycerin runs out, fatigue sets in.
As well as carbohydrates, you need protein as well. Not just any protein – for what you should eat before HIIT you need light, easily digested protein-rich foods.
What You Should Eat Before HITT
Need a few ideas for what you should eat before a HIIT session? Try these!
2 – 3 hours before HIIT
- Whole grain toast with poached eggs and spinach
- Tuna with brown rice (season as you like, add herbs and spices etc.)
- Whole-wheat pasta with chicken in a light pesto sauce
- Protein shake
- Hard boiled eggs
- Peanut butter on oat cakes or whole wheat toast
What You Should Eat After HITT
Okay. You ate everything you should before your HIIT and you aced your workout. So, what should you eat after a HIIT jam to keep on track?
Post-HIIT, refuel with nutritious foods that will help to rebuild and support your muscles after hardcore exercising. These sample menus are packed with essential minerals and vitamins, and tick every box:
- Homemade egg frittata made with your favorite vegetables OR scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach, served with a baked sweet potato and avocado salad with mixed leaves
- Chicken breast cooked how you love it, with sweet potato fries or a cup of white rice, and chargrilled asparagus with crumbled feta
Follow with Greek yogurt and blueberries, dates and sliced banana
What You Should Drink Before, During and After HITT!
What you should eat before and after HIIT doesn’t need to be dull: you can stay in the zone and still eat fabulous, tasty and healthful foods, just choose wisely!
- More energy
- Faster recovery
- Better hydration
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