Skip the protein bar! Houston fitness instructor shares best foods to fuel your workouts

Did you know certain foods can actually help you take your workout further? AJ “The Cardio Killer” Nebe shares what we should be eating before and after our workouts.

HOUSTON – If you’re looking for a way to step up your fitness routine this year, here’s something that might interest you. Did you know certain foods can actually help you take your workout further? AJ “The Cardio Killer” Nebe shares what we should be eating before and after our workouts.

“You want to treat your body like a Ferrari,” said Nebe. “Ferrari’s are made to be fueled by premium gas. Of course, you can use unleaded, but the car will not run at its full capability.”

According to Nebe, the perfect pre-workout meal should consist of two things: carbs and protein. Meals should be consumed one to three hours before exercising, however liquid meals like protein smoothies can be consumed closer to your workout.

“If you have undigested food in your system, that may cause discomfort during your workout,” said Nebe.

Here are some foods Nebe recommends to consume before exercising.

PRE-WORKOUT FOODS

AJ Nebe, Fitness Instructor, says reach for sweet potatoes as a pre-workout snack. (HausOnThePrairie)
  • Lean protein: boosts metabolism & increase fat burning
  • Sweet potatoes: provide steady energy for longer period
  • Greek yogurt: contains amino acids, which help generate muscles

For post-workout, Nebe says it’s important to reduce muscle protein breakdown and increase growth through protein synthesis. It’s also good to replenish muscle glycogen. These in conjunction can help to reduce cortisol levels and muscle soreness.

“Remember while you’re working out, you’re tearing those muscle fibers, and your muscles will need immediate help in order to repair,” said Nebe.

Here is what Nebe suggests to reach for after you exercise.

POST-WORKOUT FOODS

AJ Nebe, Fitness Instructor, says a smoothie or protein shake are great ways to refuel your body post-workout. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
  • Protein Shake: consume within 45 min. of workout for maximum benefit
  • Lean protein: reduces appetite and helps to maintain muscle mass
  • Brown rice: low glycemic index and high carb content allow quick access to nutrients for recovery

To connect with AJ Nebe, visit his Instagram page @iamthecardiokiller


About the Author:

Olivia Kolanek is the Associate Producer of KPRC 2's Houston Life. She joined the team after working in non-profit communications for three years. Olivia is a University of Houston alumna, Audible junkie and scuba novice.