High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is what many athletes consider the best way to get in shape and lose weight. The high intensity intervals boost metabolism and stimulate fat burning. A balanced, healthy diet is key for optimal results. We’ll tell you what to eat before a HIIT workout and after.
What is HIIT training?
The name says it all: High-intensity interval training alternates phases of intense exercise with short recovery periods. This makes you sweat a lot. Many athletes consider this anaerobic training the most effective way to improve endurance.
Benefits of HIIT
HIIT workouts offer a multitude of benefits. They are great for cardiovascular health, excellent calorie burners, and improve your performance in other sports. Find out more in our blog post Top 6 HIIT Benefits.
What to Eat Before HIIT and Afterward
What to eat before a HIIT workout
Do you like to exercise on an empty stomach in the morning? HIIT is one of the best ways to burn calories and reduce body fat.(1) If you feel strong, there’s no reason why you can’t work out before breakfast. However, remember that you need carbs to keep going during your workout. They give you the energy you need to push yourself. If you don’t eat before working out, your performance and stamina will likely suffer.(2)
Have a high-carb snack a few hours before your HIIT workout:
- banana and a handful of nuts
- oatmeal with almond milk, berries, and nuts
- granola bar
- toast with pure nut butter or avocado
Remember to hydrate!
Always keep a bottle of water within reach during your workouts. HIIT makes you thirsty. You don’t need sports drinks to hydrate effectively.
Did you know? Coffee before a workout can boost your performance.(3) An espresso (without milk or sugar) gives you a natural boost.
What to eat after a HIIT workout
Focus on recovery after your HIIT training. Have something to eat within an hour after your workout to repair the damaged muscle tissue and refill your glycogen stores.(4) Your focus after HIIT should be on protein, but make sure to combine it with carbohydrates:
- veggie omelet with a slice of whole-grain bread
- protein smoothie
- Greek yogurt with berries
- sautéed chicken or tofu with oven-roasted sweet potatoes
There are many benefits of HIIT workouts. You’ll get the most out of your training if you give your body the energy it needs to really explore your limits. The right nutrition helps you perform your best during HIIT training and supports your muscles during recovery. Give yourself the right fuel to work hard and feel great!