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Fueling your body in the most efficient way possible when you are working out and training regularly can be challenging.

Most of us know the food that is ‘good’ for us, but we don’t always make the best choices

Consulting with a licenced nutritionist and/or a medical professional about your diet is always a good idea but after numerous food-related questions from aerial students via Facebook and Instagram, we wanted to share some nutritional tips and tricks that we have found to positively impact our aerial training, performance and recovery.

1. Fuel Up Before You Go Up

A great way to maximize your aerial class or training is to ensure you get the right nutrients before you start.

Pre-training food should be a balance of protein and carbohydrates, eaten approximately 3-4 hours before class, giving you energy for your workout and replenishing your muscles with protein as they burn calories.

Good pre-training food choices at breakfast time include: an egg on high-protein toast or a mix of whole grain cereal, low-fat milk, and a banana.

A good option for a pre-workout lunch is a sandwich made with high-protein bread, low-sodium turkey or chicken, lettuce or sprouts, tomato, and mustard. The bread and turkey give you protein, while the garnishes and bread provide carbohydrates.

Another option is a salad made with spinach, a chicken breast, sugar-free dressing, tomatoes, and almonds. The chicken and almonds provide protein, while a salad with spinach provides both carbohydrates and protein.

2. Get Your Snack On!

It’s important to keep your energy as consistently high as possible when you are in aerial class and training regularly. We have found that healthy snacking is the ideal way to do this.

A handful of almonds or brazil nuts, an orange, an apple or a banana are all excellent choices and provide consistent energy (natural sugars!) without the crash that comes from refined sugar.

Enjoy a healthy snack about an hour to thirty minutes before class or training to take advantage of that natural energy peak.

3. Boost Your Recovery

When you exercise intensely the way we do when taking aerial classes and training, your energy stores in the form of muscle glycogen become depleted and your muscle fibers suffer some degree of damage. This places your body in a situation in which it requires the correct nutrients to kick-start muscular recovery so you have plenty of energy to put in some Meat Hooks and Straddle Climbs again soon.

Optimal exercise recovery through nutrition also encourages your muscles to become stronger.

A few of our favorite post-training foods are:

  • Salmon Sandwich or Salmon Salad

Studies indicated that the omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon can help ease muscle inflammation and soreness in response to workouts. Researchers have found that omega-3s may help stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which would encourage building stronger muscles. What’s more, British scientists discovered that these benevolent fats could improve immune function following exercise.

  • Greek Yogurt W/ Walnuts

Deliciously thick Greek-style yogurts (opt for the plain, sugar free kind) are chock-full of protein. Pumping protein into your system soon after a workout is crucial for halting excessive muscle breakdown, jump-starting the recovery process and flipping the metabolic switch, which encourages lean body mass growth.

Dairy such as yogurt is a leading source of leucine, an amino acid that is particularly effective at stimulating muscle recovery.

A 2014 study determined that antioxidants such as vitamin E in crunchy walnuts can help lessen the free-radical-induced oxidative damage that is similar to what occurs when you exercise intensely. The upshot is that going nuts for walnuts can help your muscles get ready quicker for their next demanding workout.

There you have it, some ‘food for thought’ in terms of what to put in your body to keep it strong and healthy and to help it recover faster.

At the end of the day, you know the foods that make you ‘feel’ better before and after training.

Listen to your body and give it the respect it deserves for performing all of those incredible tricks and skills. It is sure to thank you for it by helping you continue to develop and excel as an aerialist for many, many years to come!

Have a fantastic and healthy rest of your week!

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