It’s a great question. Before we talk fuel, let’s discuss what kind of exercise you’re doing.
The Right Exercise
My philosophy is that working out should be intense. You should get hot, sweaty, and it might hurt a little.
While I love it when clients tell me they park their cars further from the mall doors or take the stairs (movement counts, period), I don’t consider walking serious exercise. To me, walking is mandatory.
Real exercise involves intensity, whether that means short, all-out bursts of movement or challenging weight resistance. Click to tweet
Time is a major obstacle with exercise. With life’s ever-growing demands, who has time to ride the elliptical machines, ogle the well-gluted spin instructor, or take hours-long yoga classes?
Others complain they hate the gym environment, feel intimidated around free weight stations, or can’t leave their homes for hours at a time because they have kids.
I’ve blown those and other excuses out of the water with my Fast Blasts, which combine weight resistance and burst training (the 2 most effective exercises on the planet) in 8 – yep, 8 – minutes a day.
I want you to have a protein-rich breakfast within an hour of waking, and that includes workout days.Click to tweet
Some people can work out well in the morning on an empty stomach. They go into the gym and maintain steady energy throughout their grueling workout.
Others, like myself, do better with a protein/carb mini-meal rather than trying to go full-throttle after 12 hours of fasting.
A few folks say they work out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach with just a cup of black coffee. On my plans, I want you to have a protein-rich breakfast within an hour of waking, and that includes workout days.
That said, a cup of Bulletproof Upgraded (available here in Whole Bean or ground) makes great morning pre-workout fuel. Just don’t use caffeine as a crutch for poor sleep or underlying issues like adrenal fatigue.
You can also do a smaller portion of my plate pre-workout, but many people feel better with a protein shake, which absorbs more quickly.
If you work out later in the day (remember exercise too close to bed can make it hard to fall asleep), ideally do it 2-3 hours after a meal.
What you don’t want to do is eat a big meal immediately before you work out. Give your body adequate time to digest food so it can fuel your muscles well while you exercise.
Protein powders simplify post-workout fuel, but most come loaded with fructose, dairy, soy, whey, and other junk.Click to tweet
Bodybuilders speak of a “magic window,” or that first hour post-workout where your body is most efficient at refueling your muscle stores.
That hour window is up for debate, but I think it’s a great idea to have a protein shake or a mini-meal rich in protein and healthy carbs after your workout. Besides recovery, repair, and just plain feeling better, how you refuel after exercise will determine what energy is available for your next workout.
That’s why my favorite post-workout meal is a shake made with my All-in-One Powder. Blend it with berries (unless you’re doing cycle 2 of my Sugar Impact Diet), kale, Extra Fiber, and unsweetened coconut or almond milk.
If you have a post-workout meal, focus on a smaller portion of my plate rules.
Again, everyone is unique. There are no hard and fast rules here, though I want you to follow the Virgin Diet or Sugar Impact Diet guidelines while also paying attention to your body and how you feel before and after your workout.