No need to fear getting HIIT if you’re eating right before and after your workout.
High-Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) is becoming increasingly popular among lovers of fitness these days. It’s a workout where you essentially repeat sessions of short exercises but at a very high intensity – that hint is in its name! While HIIT can be extremely efficient, expect to be completely exhausted after and to have your energy depleted. But have no fear because if you’re eating right, then you can replenish all that energy and more. Here are some things to think about where nutrition is concerned before you start HIITing the ground running.
A Different Kind Of Meal Prep
You don’t need to prep meals in advance to get yourself ready for a HIIT workout, but it does pay to have a bit of a plan to make sure – before you start – that you’ll have enough energy to get the most out of it. This is because HIIT workouts are likely more intense than your average routine, so you’ll want to be properly fueled
Ideally, you’re already having regular meals so all you would want is to aim to have a meal between three hours before you start. The gap gives your body time to digest the food but also is long enough to avoid the risk of stomach cramps or an upset tummy. You’ll want a balanced carb and protein meal to ensure you’re ready for the workout. If it’s been quite a few hours since your meal, you can supplement with a high-energy snack (keep some in your gym bag!) about an hour before you kick off. Now you’re ready to go! #HIITit.
Recharge, Refuel And Replenish
Now that you’ve had the workout of your life, all sweaty and spent, it’s important to quickly make sure that refuel and repair your body. This will help you avoid some issues including fatigue, unnecessary soreness and losing out on some of the benefits of your exercise. Remember that what you should be aiming for soon after your cool down routine is to refuel so your body has energy again and at the same time build muscles and fix damages to your body from the workout.
30 Minutes After:
Where possible, try to have a high-complex carb (to replenish energy) and moderate lean protein (to build muscles and repair tissues) snack about half an hour after your workout. This is most important for anyone who is doing intense training – especially if you’re exercising a couple of times a day.
One To Two Hours After:
If you can’t have a snack soon after your workout, then something an hour or two after your routine is okay too, especially if you’re not training at the level of a professional athlete. You’ll also want to get enough carbs and proteins for the same reason as above.
It may not always be possible to get a proper snack or meal after your workout – especially if you’re the type who squeezes in a workout before work or during your lunch break. In these cases, opt for a protein-based smoothie that you can have quickly to help with your recovery. Then, at the first opportunity you get, have your regular well-balanced meal.
Don’t Forget Your Liquids
Hydration is key to any workout but even more so with HIIT so make sure that you have your water bottle with you and sip a little whenever you get a chance to during your workout. This can help maintain your performance during the exercise. But equally as important is to keep hydrating after as well to make up for all the fluids you’d have lost during the routine. It will also help maximise your recovery. Oh, and don’t forget to make sure you’re properly hydrated before you begin too!
If you haven’t already given HIIT a try then these tips will help you be ever ready for it when you do. It’s an increasingly popular routine for gym goers these days and for good reason, but you want to make sure that you’re well prepared nutrition wise to get the most out of it and to take care of your body. Enjoy!