Why you need a healthy snack before and after class

shutterstock_429217612If you are training your body you need to fuel it too

So I’ve talked a lot about training - now let’s talk about nutrition, because yes it stands to reason that if you are training your body you need to feed it properly too! Training aerial requires a lot of energy so you must make sure you fuel your body in the right way.

Quick fix sugar snacks are not the way to go

Believe me sugary, energy drinks and chocolate bars before class is not the way forward! I know I’ve been there - I laugh about it now but I used to have terrible nutritional habits when it came to training (the worst). I don’t like to admit to it but a can of cherry coca cola and a Twix were my go to’s before a training session - for that quick fix spike of sugary energy, which would then leave me ravenous after training, which I would usually fix with some other sort of fast food horribleness on the way home!! I cringe now when I look back on it but hey - no one taught me about the importance of eating properly when training.

Now I’m sure you guys are much more savvy when it comes to workout snacks than I was back in my training days, but I have learnt a thing or too since then. Many years on, and many detox’s later, I’m proud to say my body is probably now healthier than it’s ever been. So to help you guys develop good healthy nutritional habits, especially when it comes to aerial training, here are my five top tips on how to stay super healthy and fully energised and do aerial workouts at the same time.

1.) Snack before and after doing aerial

Feeding your body before and after every workout is essential for staying energised, building lean muscle and speeding up recovery. Before you come to class make sure you body is ready and fuelled up by eating a light snack - and I stress light, as you seriously don’t want that hefalump feeling of a full belly before turning upside down or lifting your body weight through space!

During exercise your body taps the fuel stored in your muscles, known as glycogen, for energy. After you've cranked out that last climb or round of straddle inverts or worked your routine for the umpteenth time, your muscles will be depleted of their glycogen stores and broken down. Eating (or drinking) something that combines protein and carbohydrates 30 - 60 mins after your workout refills energy stores, builds and repairs muscles that were broken down, and helps keep your metabolism burning strong.

The sooner you start re-fuelling, the better off you'll be. Research shows that your body's ability to refill muscle stores decreases by 50% if you wait to eat just two hours after your training session compared to eating right away. So try to plan ahead and bring a recovery drink with you, or pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat when you're finished.

2.) Snack healthy

Which brings me to my next point about making sure your snack attack is a healthy one. Your body needs proper fuel to give you long-term endurance not a quick spike of energy (from sugar) only to come crashing down an hour or two later feeling fully depleted. About five years ago I discovered detoxing (via fruit juice or water fasting) - and since then I have been on a journey of discovery towards better and greater health. As my body de-toxed it was so interesting to see how my body naturally wanted to make more healthy choices, and now-a-days I can’t imagine a diet without superfoods or organic veggies, smoothies, fruit snacks and the such like.

So I just wanted to pass on some of this knowledge on to you guys in the hope that I can inspire some healthy eating choices especially when it comes to pre and post aerial snacking and fuelling your body with the best nutrition possible ready for your aerial workouts.

3.) Snack with super foods

Where would I be without my super foods!!! (probably not teaching 5 classes in a row that’s for sure). I put super foods in my normal foods as much as possible as I find that my energy levels, mood and general sense of well being is so much more sustained when I’m eating them.

Definition of a superfood...

Btw for anyone that doesn’t know what a super food is - here’s the low down... definition: 'a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being'. It refers to foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients. Since the magic health pill has yet to be invented, superfoods are the body’s best bet. These antioxidant-rich foods reduce the risk for fatal diseases like cancer, while allowing us to meet our daily nutritional requirements. Many superfoods are also high in fibre, which promotes digestive health; calcium, which promotes bone health; or omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health.

They include most fruits and veggies but there are some that appear even more beneficial - coconut and avocado being among my top two. There is also a whole host of super food powders (ground down from other wondrous, exotic fruits and berries) - too many to go into detail here, but if you're interested to learn more check out my blog here on my top ten fave superfoods that I simply can’t do without, why they are so good for you and the best ways you can use them in your diet and health habits.

4.) Super power smoothie snacks

And where would I be without my super power smoothies... I have to say smoothies are genius!!! I love them so much - not just because they taste super delicious, are super quick to make, are like a whole meal complete in one go, are packed full of high nutritional content, (that stops me craving sugar and gives me energy for hours and hours), full of everything raw (yep I'm a big fan of raw) but when I drink them my body just goes 'ahhhhh THANK YOU - this is exactly what I need right now'... I feel the goodness flowing into my body... and it's, well what more can I say - pure, divine, heavenly goodness that my body just luuuuuurves.

5.) Super power pre or post aerial snacks

And when I discovered the power of super foods I realised that not only are they awesome ingredients for smoothies but I started adding them to everything else too! Chia seeds on toast, soaked chia desserts, maca in a milk shake, cacao nibs on desserts, super mixes on cereals and porridge, baking (muffins, pancakes, yes even your fave chocolate brownie mixes can turn healthier with a mix of super foods in them) salad dressings... you can have so much fun with them! If you have any super delish recipes or inventive ways to use super foods please do let me know as I am always on the look out for new ideas and things to try!