Constantly curious whether it’s best to eat before or after a workout- and what to have? I hear you! I met with PT pro and Director of Productive Health and Wellness, Robbie Peters, to get his lowdown on all this eating and fitting business.

Tell us about the nutrition-fitness relationship and why it matters?

In isolation, fitness and exercise help the body get to a certain point, and nutrition helps the body with other things. However, by pairing the both together, you’re giving yourself the best tools of success to reach your goals and maximise your results.

You really do have to match your nutrition with the exercise you’re doing as well. For example, let’s say you get to the gym to do your 6am workout. Once you finish your workout, you have what we call a ‘golden window’, three hours from when you started your workout (so in this case from 6am to 9am) where your body will be at its optimum to metabolise and utilise the food you’re putting back into your body afterwards. Provided, you give it the right stuff though!

In simpler terms, your body is like a car, you need to replace it with the right fuel that you have just used during your workout.

What and when should we be eating if we’re doing, say, 3 classes a week or some condition training?

It does depend on the individual and type of exercise you are doing, but a basic rule of thumb you can follow is to have some carbs 1-2 hours before training, like a banana or a smoothie with some unflavoured protein powder. After a workout, we usually like to suggest a protein smoothie to help the muscles recover. You can eat some processed carbohydrates (such as basmati rice, pasta, couscous or bread etc) after workouts as your body will utilise the food coming in to replenish the body and will not store it, so it won’t sit on the body as it does not have anywhere to go. Throughout your week the food on your plate should be colourful with different veggies and have a protein type food of your choice, nutritious and delicious! For fat loss, you should definitely be eating a mix of delicious food, but each meal should have a 1st class protein, carbohydrate and a food source with omega 3.

What’s your biggest personal tip for anyone wanting to get more balance with exercise?

Over the years as a personal trainer I have a quite a few! But the best thing really is the simple stuff – being disciplined and consistent with your workouts (discipline breeds habit, habit far out ways intentions), some hard work & dedication. It’s all about the journey and not the destination.

Robbie Peters is a director at Productive Health and Wellness in the Rialto Building.

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