What to Eat Before and After a Pure Barre Class

How many posts have you read that have a title similar to this one? I know my count is pretty high. I learn what someone else does, glean some new info, and in the past, I would consider switching my routine to theirs. If that's what this post prompts you to do, that's totally fine, but I will encourage you throughout this post to listen to your body and think about your routine before adopting mine. There is not one magic food to eat before and after a Pure Barre class, or any workout, just ones that fuel and work for you.

First question - can you eat before your workouts, or do you get nauseous?

I am in the camp of eating before my workout, but I have friends who literally cannot consume anything before they exercise without feeling extremely sick to their stomach. It's important to know how your body feels in response to food in your belly before you gear up for a class. Pure Barre is also very muscle intensive, so I feel better having something in my stomach before a workout and a solid protein afterwards. 

My typical routine is this:

  • wake up around 6:00 am
  • consume water, coffee (right now, I'm doing MCT oil and cinnamon in my coffee), and some sort of carbohydrate rich breakfast
  • take a Pure Barre class at 8:30, 9:00, or 9:30 am, depending on the day
  • have a snack (Bulletproof collagen bars are my current favorite) and eat lunch around 1:00 pm, or eat a protein-rich lunch around 11:30 am in lieu of a snack

Let's unpack it:

I'm sure the phrase you want explained is "carbohydrate rich breakfast". Once again, I eat different things all the time, and I don't always get to workout in the morning. If I do something unusual and take a 6:00 am class, I actually don't eat before it, and I have breakfast with carbs, proteins, and healthy fats afterward. Honestly, I try to include protein, fat, and fiber in all of my meals. Sometimes, I work out in the middle of the day or the afternoon, and depending on the time, I may eat a snack before, or I may wait until I'm done and eat dinner. 

But, if we're sticking to the most-likely routine, my breakfast could be any of the following:

  • a smoothie with protein, fats, fiber, greens, and berries/banana (Kelly LeVeque is a nutritionist I love that promotes this #fabfour method)
  • my perfect oatmeal - see recipe
  • an apple with nut butter
  • Purely Elizabeth granola with cashew yogurt and berries

I try to consume my carbs, especially fruit and grains (if I'm eating them), in the morning because that allows my body to utilize the quick glucose for fuel in my workout and burn the majority of it off during the day. I've also gone through many periods, such as my different Whole30s, where I'm doing a lower carb breakfast with more eggs and veggies. Some days, I still do this, but I enjoy having my grains a handful of days a week. My lifestyle is pretty close to Paleo with some healthy grains (oats, quinoa, rice), unless I'm eating out or on vacation.

Many are of the belief that fasted workouts are better, meaning that you don't eat prior to your workout so that your body can burn its fat stores, rather than quick sugars. I don't disagree, and I do fasted workouts if they're super early in the morning, but I also don't feel pressured to do this religiously. My body wants food first thing in the morning, and because I don't practice intermittent fasting, then I don't ascribe to this process daily. I do try to eat all of my food within a 12 hour window in the day for optimal hormone balance and a speedy metabolism.

Here's the thing, a breakfast full of veggies will always be more nutritious than one without, and depending on your goals, you may want a certain food/workout/snack regimen that produces quick weight loss and results. That's great, go for it! For me, I'm looking to maintain my health, fuel my body with a variety of nutrients, and enjoy my life. This is my routine, and I hope you find one that you love, as well. 

Questions or comments? Shoot them my way, and I'm happy to chat!

The recipe pictured in the icon for this blog is for my Raw Pumpkin Pie Bites.