Those of you who follow me on Instagram or Facebook have seen me posting my pre- and post-workout meals. Many of you who have started to workout again have begun to question whether or not you should be adding extra nutrition to your diets. The answer really depends on you.
In my research, I have found most people on the AIP are not doing the level of exercise that requires added nutrition. That is actually a good thing. If you’re working to heal an autoimmune disorder, you really shouldn’t be doing hardcore workouts too soon in your recovery. Intense workouts can actually hurt your recovery. I’m not saying that you can’t do any workouts. I’m just saying to keep it keep it steady and slow to not overtax your healing body.
It’s important to understand, I didn’t start my intense workout program until over a year of being on the AIP. At the time, I was about 98% healed. And, even I took it slow at first. Once I determined that I could handle more, I did more. I was able to complete my healing and put myself into remission. But, it took awhile to get to that point.
So, I said before that you hold the answer to whether or not you need additional nutrition before and after workouts. Most of us on the AIP are getting lots of nutrient dense foods in our diets. What I’ve seen in many of the autoimmune community is a lack of protein and an overabundance of fats in their diets. This may not be helpful if you are trying to build muscle and strength and/or lose fat. If that is your goal, you will want to up your protein and cut a bit of the fats out of your diets. However, because your workouts are not intense, you do not need to add a huge amount of protein right after your workout. A simple meal of chicken breast (4 ounces), half a sweet potato, and a small salad of greens is perfect, up to two hours after your workout. As far as pre-workout foods, if you’re eating breakfast before your workout, that should be enough to get you through your workout. When eating before a workout, I usually try to have a little protein and a fruit. The fruit can help to give you the energy to power through just about any workout. Turkey patties with blueberries added in is one of my favorite pre-workout foods.
Now, if you’re doing more endurance type workouts, like running or hiking, you’re going to want to up your carbs (for energy) and protein (to prevent muscle loss) after workouts. Some people prefer to do endurance or cardio workouts on an empty stomach. I wouldn’t recommend this on the AIP. You’re probably already fighting against lagging energy levels. Why add to your burden? Instead, I would recommend a small pre-workout meal of a small amount of protein, carb, and fats. Maybe you could have 1/3 of a sweet potato, a slice of turkey and a banana. You can keep it light; but, do eat something.
These are obviously quickie guidelines for you to follow. Next year, I’ll be rolling out full fitness coaching programs exclusively for those of us with autoimmunity. Fitness nutrition (pre and post workout meals) is very personalized. Each person is different. Those of us with autoimmune disease need special attention and direction. That’s what I’m going to provide for you.
In this post, I’ve added photos of some of my favorite AIP post-workout meals for you to duplicate. Most of my pre-workout meals have reintroduced foods. I’ll be doing another post covering reintroducing foods for fitness. Just remember to keep your pre-workout nutrition simple and light.
I know many of you will have questions. You can leave them in the Comments or email me.
As always, I wish you good health……and, good food!