What Should I Eat Before The Gym And After? Here's How To Fuel
Nothing makes me wish I had more time in the day than trying to incorporate a gym routine into my schedule. By the time you get out of work and make it to a class, it's already nearing 7 p.m.
And yeah, I'm aware I could work out before work, but doing that is for people who barely sweat and somehow still look the same after 45 minutes of indoor cycling -- aka not me.
After adjusting my skincare routine to account for my sweat sessions, I soon realized the real struggle I had with organizing my life came from two of the most evil words known to human existence: meal prep.
When running from the office to a workout class, I had no time for a pre-workout snack. Then, by the time I was out of a session and on my way home, I was so famished I could barely keep track of what subway stop to hop off of.
But a new company, Revere, aims to change how you feel before and after a workout by maximizing your nutrition. Revere, which just launched today, July 12, is a monthly subscription box that provides a personalized nutrition pack, tailored to your unique workout experience. It's intended to simplify your life, and keep you focused on your workout gains and goals, so you have one less thing to stress about when you're rushing to get home and cook dinner.
I spoke with the co-founder of Revere, Alexandra Blodgett about the launch, and got to try the product first-hand to see if it really did simplify my workout routine the way it promised to.
Depending on how often you workout, Revere provides you with two nutrition packets for each day you hit the gym: one for before the workout, and one for after. In addition to making your life easier by delivering personalized nutrition packets to your door, the Revere formula is designed so that you have more energy during your workout and you're less sore once it's finished.
Blodgett is also a co-founder of Cyc Fitness, an indoor cycling studio, with locations in Austin, Wisconsin, Boston, and New York. After chatting with clients in and out of the Cyc studios, Blodgett noticed a common denominator when it came to fitness and fueling habits: the gray area between activity and nutrition.
WTF Do I Eat After A Workout?
Blodgett reveals how she got the same question (that I definitely had) over and over again: What should we be eating before and after a workout?
Blodgett tells Elite Daily,
Over years of watching riders flow through our studios, it became glaringly obvious. There was so much confusion around the link between fitness and nutrition. I'd watch as clients put so much time, money and effort into their workouts but not get the results they deserved. Thinking it was healthy, someone would drink a green juice or smoothie laden with hidden sugars after class -- unknowingly undoing all the hard work they just put in.
The answer seems to lie in plant-based nutrition.
Blodgett worked with nutritionist, Dr. Jen Sachek, and Mike Barwis, a human performance specialist who trains Olympians and professional athletes, to come up with pre-measured pre- and post-workout packets you can mix directly into your bottle of water or coconut water.
To get the perfect mix that's right for your body and type of workout you participate in most often, Revere.co has users fill out a short quiz to get the deets on what you need to refuel, depending on the type of workouts you do and how often you do them.
So basically, if you workout four days a week and three of those days are cardio-focused while one is is strength-focused, your monthly box will contain four strength and 12 cardio packets. The "dosage" -- whether it's low or high -- will be based on your profile and fitness goals you entered on the quiz.
Each packet has ingredients like sweet potato powder (for stamina), pomegranate and beet root (for endurance), and/or tart cherry (for soreness prevention).
How To Use Revere
The post-workout packet should also be consumed within 30 minutes of your completed workout. According to Blodgett, "there is a 30-minute window post-workout when your muscles are still active and best able to replenish glycogen that has been depleted with carbohydrates, and repair muscles with protein."
This ensures you feel less sore than you would without Revere the day after your workout. It turns out, timing is an important part of the workout fuel process, and a lot of people ignore that.
Researchers found that if you have carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes after your workout, your muscle glycogen synthesis is 44 percent faster, and your protein synthesis is 300 percent faster.
What Does It Taste Like?
I'm definitely cardio heavy in my workouts. I love cycling and don't really feel like I'm doing work unless my heart is thumping out of my chest and sweat is pouring down my temples. So about 30 minutes before I was scheduled to workout, I mixed my pre-workout cardio formula, which was peach tea flavored, with about 10 oz. of water.
As someone who's tried a lot of supplements, I'm happy to report that the packet tasted like tea, not vitamins. This was super important to Blodgett and her team as well. No one wants to guzzle liquid that tastes like crushed up supplements before hitting a workout.
"Not having that gritty, vitamin taste was so important to us," says Blodgett. The Revere team wanted to make sure the formula tasted refreshing, which they definitely nailed, in my opinion. After all, you should be pumped for your workout heading into it, not grossed out by the mix you have just before.
I'm still definitely working on getting that whole "runner's high" feeling as I'm sweating my brains out, but I can honestly report I felt energized during my workout from the packets. The sweet potato powder paired with green tea found in the formula naturally caffeinated me before my class, and I definitely felt the effects.
Post-workout, I had the vanilla chai cardio packet, which also tasted as promised. While it wasn't my favorite thing in the world to sip a chai-flavored drink immediately after working out, I trusted the system and took small sips as I waited for the subway home.
The vanilla chai post-workout packet has tart cherry and electrolytes paired with probiotics. It's designed to help your energy even out after the workout, instead of leaving you feeling completely depleted. Due to the energy I had pre-class, I def sweated more than usual, but I wasn't on the brink of passing out on my way home, which is how I usually feel. It also helped the time pass during my commute, since I was occupied with a tasty drink instead of hangrily thinking about what I'd eat when I got in the door.
My final verdict? Revere is such a cool idea, and it gives me peace of mind knowing I'm giving my body what it needs to feel successful about my workout prep, without worrying that I'm costing my body the nutrients it needs by holding off too long to eat anything at all.
Sure, the nutritionist and science-backed formula is amazing, but I was truly comforted by the fact that Blodgett stressed to me that Revere is not a meal-replacement supplement. It's a convenient way to get nutrients into your body during a crucial time when they matter.
"We created Revere to clear that all up, and make it super simple to get exactly what you need to lock in your workouts," says Blodgett. It's simply meant to fill the space between commuting from your workout class and being able to get your hands on a whole-ingredient meal. Not to mention, it's energy- and strength-focused, not weight loss-focused, which is a dangerous misconception this product helps to alleviate.
Anything that makes life easier and keeps me healthy without having to give it a second thought is a win in my book.