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While you might be wreaking havoc in the gym, research shows that what you eat before, during and after a sweat session is vital to your progress. Here are a few quick tips on how to harness the power of nutrition during your next workout.
Tip #1 - Consume carbs – There’s nothing worse than feeling full during your fitness routine. Avoid foods higher in fat and fiber before your workout to avoid the bloat. Pre-workout nutrition should consist mainly of foods that are higher in carbohydrates. About 30 minutes before your workout, grab 15-20 grams of easy-to-digest carbs like Greek yogurt, fruit smoothies and sweet potatoes and 10-15 grams of moderate protein like 2-3 ounces of chicken (the size of your palm or less) or two eggs to fuel your body for peak performance. Whether it’s Greek yogurt or a whey protein powder smoothie with fruit, nourish yourself with sufficient sources of both carbs and protein.
Tip #2 - Fight that hungry feeling – Feeling extra hungry after that last rep? It’s time to get a handle on that post-workout hunger. Fat and fiber should be consumed in moderation as they can slow down the absorption of the carbs and proteins your body needs.
Tip #3 - Eating aids recovery – Pending bodyweight goals and exercise intensity, you’ll want to focus on consuming roughly 25-35 grams of carbs and 20 grams of protein like sweet potatoes or brown rice with 2-3 ounces of chicken breast or a tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread and low-fat mayo within 1-2 hours post-workout to help restore glycogen and aid in muscle repair and recovery. If you are short on time or don’t have any sources of carbs and protein within reach, protein bars (like Quest or Pure Protein that are also higher in fiber) are a great on-the-go option.
Tip #4 - Stay hydrated –If you train hard by incorporating bouts of moderate intensity for 75 minutes or more and shorter bouts of HIIT or more intense interval training, you may want to try adding a low-sugar electrolyte + amino acid powder blend to your water for extra hydration. Including this tip into your fitness out routine can help to keep you properly fueled, maximizing your workout intensity. I prefer the powder blends, like Xtend, over the sugary Gatorade drinks.
Tip #5 - Avoid empty calories – If you are working out with the goal of losing weight, avoid or limit calories found in beverages like alcohol, soda, and coffee with creamers or sugar. They provide little to no nutritional value and do not benefit your fitness routine.
Tip #6 - Overcome that weight loss plateau – If training and/or dieting for weight loss, concentrate on eating most (if not all) of your carbs before and after your workout, snacking on small amounts of fruits and veggies throughout the day. Focusing your carb intake around your fitness schedule can be especially helpful if you have hit a weight loss plateau or are having trouble losing those last few pounds.
Tip #7 - Watch your carb intake on rest days – Your carb intake should mirror your activity level. On rest days, lower your carb consumption since extra carbs aren’t needed for workout fuel or recovery. Even on off days, I generally don’t recommend going lower than 75 grams of carbs because your brain and body still need carbs to function adequately.
Tip #8 - Maximize muscle gain – If your workout routine includes intermediate or advanced weight + strength training, and muscle growth is one of your goals, mix 20 grams of casein protein powder like Optimum Nutrition or Muscletech in water, unsweetened almond milk or low-fat milk within 15-30 minutes before bed. This helps maximize muscle repair, growth and synthesis—which mostly occurs while sleeping.
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!