What These PTs Eat Before And After A Workout

Whether you’re into running, Pilates, HIIT or boxing, the right nutrition can make or break your fitness regime – not to mention your recovery. To find out what foods the pros rely on before and after workouts, we went to eight of London’s top trainers…

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Thalia Burt, PT & Lead Trainer at BXR

“Medjool dates dipped in ManiLife peanut butter and an espresso is my go-to workout snack. Simple to make, dates are a great source of natural sugars for an energy boost, while nut butter provides the perfect balance of fat and protein. If I’m pushed for time, I’ll grab a Nocco energy drink and a protein bar – favourites include Barebells Salty Peanut bars and anything by Misfits. Always read the ingredients label when you’re buying a protein bar and try to pick one with at least 15g of protein in it. Post-workout, I try to prioritise a meal that’s high in carbs as well as protein – you can’t go wrong with eggs on toast, chicken and rice with stir-fried vegetables, or a protein smoothie with oats, banana, berries and protein powder.” 
 
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Bryony Deery, Pilates Instructor & PT

“Before a morning session, I’ll have a glass of warm water with lemon, which aids digestion and an oat milk collagen matcha using Enso’s matcha powder and Dose & Co’s dairy-free collagen. I prefer to work out on an empty stomach as it better supports my energy and concentration. I always stress to my clients the importance of listening to your body and seeing food as fuel to enjoy, satisfy and energise. Post-workout, I love a smoothie bowl – it’s a great way to pack in the nutrition. My go-to blend is chocolate pea protein powder mixed with frozen banana, half an avocado, a large scoop of nut butter and plant-based milk. If I’m at home for lunch, I love a warm Buddha bowl, homemade miso soup with lots of vegetables and ginger, or avocado on sourdough toast.”
 
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Karina Patel, PT at The Fore

“As a trainer, I spend my days travelling around the city, teaching classes and training clients, so when I work out it’s also precious ‘me’ time, and I use nutrition to ensure I’m getting the most out of it. I recently discovered Supernova Living protein powder, which is both organic and vegan and contains adaptogens and micro-algae to support energy levels, and now can’t be without it. It’s become the basis of both my pre- and post-workout nutrition as it can be added to porridge and smoothies and eaten on-the-go. When stirred through porridge, I also add oat milk, frozen berries, ground flaxseeds, a sprinkle of coconut sugar and a drizzle of Oatly cream – I eat this around 60-90 minutes before exercising. After exercising, I tend to reach for a smoothie within two hours of training. Supernova protein mixed with hazelnut milk, a banana, two tablespoons of peanut butter, a dash of cinnamon and ice is delicious.”
 
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Jillian Michaels, PT & Creator of The Fitness App

“I never work out on an empty stomach as I feel it compromises the intensity of a workout, and contrary to popular opinion, it doesn’t increase fat burning. I also avoid eating 45 minutes to an hour before training so my body isn’t focused on digestion and can efficiently deliver nutrients and oxygen to my muscles. I do, however, have a shot of my energy booster prior to hitting the gym – one espresso mixed with half a teaspoon of matcha powder, beetroot powder and capsinoids, a combination that has been shown to enhance athletic performance and fat oxidation. Throughout the rest of the day, I eat every three hours to keep blood sugar levels steady, always eating a balanced mix of all three macros (fat, protein and carbs), and fast overnight for a minimum of 12 hours.”
 
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Becs Gentry, Peloton Tread Instructor

“I used to think I functioned best running on empty, but quickly realised that even a small bite of something will fuel my glycogen stores and make even the toughest of workouts more manageable. I’m a big believer in fuelling your body and find the harder I train, the more I crave foods that will support my efforts rather than rewarding hard work with a treat meal. Before a long run, I always have a bowl of porridge made with water, some berries and almond butter – the perfect balance of carbs and glucose to support my distance and pace without weighing me down. Post-workout, it takes me a while to feel hungry, particularly if it’s been a demanding session, so I’ve learnt to utilise this window to rehydrate. When hunger hits, I’ll have grilled chicken or tuna with a big salad, grains such as rice or farro and fruit. Take the time to experiment and find out what works best for your body.”
 
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Alex Rogers, Fitness And Health Coach at KXU

“To fuel the body for exercise, you can’t go wrong with a chia seed pudding – the Aztecans said that a tablespoon kept them going for 24 hours. Chia seeds are also high in protein and help maintain optimum levels of testosterone, helping your overall gains in the gym. Pairing a piece of fruit with a handful of cashews or almonds is also a great combination to support healthy blood sugar. After a tough workout, oily fish can help kickstart recovery – I love salmon with sweet potato fries and salad. Healthy fats from the fish are a great way to combat inflammation. Scrambled eggs with rocket and feta is also a great high-protein option, and you can add a slice or two of sourdough if you need more fuel. When it comes to hydration, I rate CellNutrition Quinton Isotonic Sea Water Vials, a natural seawater supplement that has been shown to restore and balance your cells to keep you strong and healthy.”
 
Visit KXU.co.uk & follow @ChelseaFitnessClub

Casey Brinn, PT at Motivate PT

“Try to avoid eating complex carbs prior to a workout as they can upset your tummy when exercising. Instead of a pre-workout bowl of porridge, I’ll make a banana smoothie, which I find is easier to digest. After I’ve worked up a sweat, I base all my post-workout meals around carbs, protein and healthy fats to optimise muscle synthesis and recovery. I’m a big believer in balanced nutrition – carbs provide glucose, which is what gives us energy; proteins provide amino acids, which build and repair muscle and bone; and fat helps your body absorb nutrients. If you take away even one of these nutrients, you’ll throw your body off balance. Good post-workout meals include a wholewheat bagel with eggs, avocado and chilli flakes or a prawn stir fry with brown rice.”
 
Visit MotivatePT.co.uk & follow @CaseyBrinn_PT

Jenny Allbrook, Barrecore Teacher & PT

“I like to have a long fast when I’m teaching early morning classes, particularly if I got home late from work the night before. If I’m fasting, I’ll have a coffee with oat milk as I leave the house and wait until late morning to eat. If I have a later start, I’ll whip up a couple of scrambled eggs and avocado on rice cakes before I work out. The balance of protein and fats keeps me fuelled, while the rice cakes leave me less sluggish than bread if I have a long day ahead. After a workout, I like to get protein and carbs in as quickly as possible, as I’m very conscious that I get hangry once my endorphins subside. My go-to is a bowl of mixed grains (I love Waitrose’s microwaveable pouches) with tofu, grilled vegetables and a miso and cashew cream dressing. If I’m still hungry, I’ll also have a vegan protein shake with frozen blueberries and chia seeds. If I’m out and about, I’ll grab a banana and a sachet of Pip and Nut almond butter. I also love Pret’s Acai Bowl, which comes with a generous portion of almond butter.”
 
Visit Barrecore.com & follow @JennyAllbrook

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