Monday, February 9, 2015

Retreat Spa February Fitness Focus

DON’T exercise on an empty stomach !
But be sure to leave 45 minutes to an hour between eating and exercising for digestion.

For a standard hour-long workout i.e. lifting, running, cycling - you need to make sure you have a combination of carbohydrates and proteins to provide 
a stream of energy during strenuous exercise and nutrients to repair muscle afterwards.

Bananas are very rich in fast-acting carbohydrates, which will provide you with usable fuel for a workout, whilst the supply of potassium aids in maintaining muscle and nerve function. If you like to work out first thing in the morning and typically skip eating, have a banana beforehand and then afterwards eat breakfast within half an hour to provide the essential proteins for muscle building and repair.

Oats are packed with fibre, which facilitates a steady release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream, and therefore a steady energy supply throughout your workout.

Caffeine has been shown to help regular drinkers enjoy a workout more by generating energy, as well as to slow fatigue and increase the rate of fat-burn. Just add a shot of espresso to your pre-workout shake in the morning to pump you up.

Fruit Smoothies
Fruit or vegetable smoothies are an awesome pre-workout snack because they have high-quality protein, can be rapidly digested, and have the key combination of simple and complex carbohydrates. The simple carbohydrates will hit for the first 15 to 20 minutes, while the complex finally kick in around the half-hour mark. Together, these provide a steady stream of energy throughout a standard workout.

This is an incredibly easy pre-workout snack with no cooking involved whatsoever. Just eat 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of chickpeas, seasoned with some lemon juice for taste. A quarter cup alone will give you about 10 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates, and almost 9 grams of fibre.

Egg Whites
The fat in egg yolks is metabolised slowly and therefore is likely to make you feel bloated and sluggish during your workout, so egg whites are a much better pre-workout option. A single egg white provides around 4 grams of protein and no fat.

Dried Fruit
This is a great option if you only have a few minutes before your workout because it’s so light, so the simple carbohydrates will provide you with instant energy without weighing you down. A few recommendations for dried fruits to eat are berries, apricots, and pineapple. Aim for around a quarter cup.

Whole Grain Toast
Whole grains like quinoa and brown rice are packed with fibre, providing slow-release, sustained energy throughout the duration of a workout. Topping it off with some jam will provide you with fast-acting simple carbohydrates. Or, you can try Greek yoghurt and pistachios with honey on top.

Chicken Breast & Brown Rice
If you are working out after lunch or dinner, you want to eat something that will sit well, provide you with a good deal of usable fuel, and have minimal fat. The complex carbohydrates in brown rice help sustain energy production, while chicken or tofu will provide protein for muscle repair after your workout. If you prefer, you can substitute brown rice with sweet potatoes, quinoa, or other whole grains/starchy vegetables. You should definitely avoid rich foods that will take longer to digest and likely make you uncomfortable while exercising.

Greek Yoghurt
Greek yoghurt contains almost double the protein of normal yoghurt but about half as much raw sugar as regular yoghurt. Provided you are not lactose-intolerant, this should provide an energy boost that’s easy on the stomach. A comparable high-protein dairy option is cottage cheese.

‘Superfood’ Supplements
The Peruvian root ‘maca’ has been growing in popularity as a natural supplement seen to increase energy and stamina, among many other health benefits. Many South American soccer players eat maca before games to aid peak performance. Spirulina and wheat grass are also packed with proteins, vitamins, minerals and amino acids and are great as an addition to smoothies and yoghurt to boost energy and speed up the metabolism.


For people trying to tone and lose fat, there is a myth that by not eating, you are going to go into further deficit and lose more fat. In reality, your body may shut down and not lose anything.

For more information on The Retreat Spa Fitness activities, visit: Aphrodite Hills Fitness


  1. Kruger Park Lodge Estate is situated on a nine hole Gary Player designed golf course on the banks of the Sabie River in Hazyview, Mpumalanga province. The resort offers guests a tranquil and peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Kruger Park Lodge’s rates are also very competitive for a four star lodge, and one can choose between a two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom chalet.

  2. I was looking for articles on Full body massage in Dubai and I came across yours inspiring read. Great post! Also, check out more here: Massage Therapy