12 Aug 2022
Personal trainers are on their feet all day, juggling their energetic clients. It can be exhausting stuff, especially when they’re actively assisting clients with exercise routines and doing a lot of demonstrations. Throw in a couple of classes and a personal trainer can quickly get worn down if they’re not eating the right food.
This article aims to provide a list of the foods necessary for maintaining high levels of energy throughout the day and include some recipes you can use to make your own meals and snacks.
Beyond just staying on their feet, another major aspect of being a good personal trainer is acting as a role model. Keeping their body in shape and maintaining good eating habits is all part of helping clients achieve their goals. After all, if they’re not in shape, it’s a bit of a hard ask to expect clients to listen to their advice.
Most personal trainers are in pretty good shape. They need to maintain their strength and endurance throughout the working day by eating right. By keeping an eye on macro intake (proteins, carbs and fats) during the day, a personal trainer can ensure that they’re getting everything they need to maintain their body, while also not fluctuating in weight.
Personal trainers will generally place a stronger emphasis on protein than carbs and fats if they’re aiming to keep their body in shape while not actively working out. However, in order to keep going throughout the day, their body needs the energy.
This is where the carbs come in. At a basic level, carbs are sugars that get stored in your body and are then expended when the body needs energy. Too many carbs in your diet, and you’ll gain weight. Too few, and you’ll suffer from fatigue and lack of energy.
Depending on their daily schedule, some personal trainers will need a significant amount of carbohydrates during the day – especially if they’re doing something that burns a lot of energy, like leading a spin class.
Below are the key high energy foods that personal trainers mix and match into their meal plans to stay energised and healthy while on the job.
Yogurt is one of those foods that can form a great background to just about any meal. You can mix it up with some fresh fruit, nuts, or dried fruit to keep you going throughout the day and also add a solid protein punch to your diet.
It’s important to keep an eye on the type of yogurt you’re consuming. A lot of brands out there aren’t much more than a high-sugar snack and won’t do you any favours if you’re aiming to eat healthily.
Grab some plain Greek yogurt, add a portion of raw almonds and unsweetened cranberries (or plain sultanas) to keep going between intense sessions. This one is great if you have a short turnaround – it all comes straight out of the fridge and into a bowl, which saves you time if you’ve only got fifteen minutes between sessions. You could even sprinkle in some chia seeds, which for something so small, are packed with protein, fats, and fibre.
Fruit should be a staple of anyone’s diet. Most personal trainers will advocate eating two pieces of fruit every day, sometimes more if you’re working out quite regularly. An apple about 30 minutes before a workout can really help you kick through if it’s been a couple of hours since your last meal.
Bananas also have a huge number of advantages. They’re easy to work with, full of potassium, which is great for energy, and also have some great benefits for mental health. This is because they contain high levels of tryptophan, converted into serotonin in your body – which is your body’s natural mood stabiliser that helps to balance feelings of depression and anxiety.
Grab some fresh grapes and keep them in the freezer. They can be eaten by themselves, like a mini popsicle, or ground up in protein shakes. These are great for following up intense sessions. Because of their small size, and the fact that they’re frozen, they’re also a great snack that you can pop into your mouth between back-to-back sessions to give you a little bit more energy throughout the day.
Eggs and egg whites can be a powerful addition to any diet. You don’t have to go far to find a personal trainer willing to advocate the enormous benefits of a couple of eggs in your diet every day. Personal trainers will often employ eggs in their lunchtime food arsenal because they are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
There are plenty of things you can do with eggs, and recipes are easy enough to find online. Take a couple of hard-boiled eggs to split into a salad, spin together an omelette with some greens, or cook up some egg white mini muffins to keep you going. But if you are after a quick snack in between meals, an egg sandwich with whole wheat bread and spinach is a great source of iron, magnesium and of course, energy.
Nuts are amazing for a number of reasons, especially almonds. They’ve got a number of healthy fats, fibre, protein and vitamins and minerals that your body needs. They’re a great snack when there’s not a lot of time to spare, and that’s why personal trainers tend to favour them.
But which are the best nuts to consume? Almonds, cashews, walnuts, macadamias and hazelnuts are great sources of energy and are high in fats (the good kind). A handy tip, if you are looking to get the most out of the nutritional value of nuts is activating them by soaking them in water overnight.
Nuts can be supplemented with a lot of different foods included on this list, including eggs; try splitting a hard-boiled egg in half, top the halves up with some hummus, and stick a few almonds in it.
Enough of the food, drinking matcha green tea can give you that coffee lift without the shakes. Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which provides a range of health benefits including improved mental focus and better sleep quality.
While caffeine is a go-to for many people, including personal trainers, drinking green tea is a healthier alternative and can be mixed with a variety of ingredients for extra flavour. Try adding some mint, ginger, honey and lemon for a refreshing and tasty brew.
All of the above foods and food groups are great to have as a snack at any time of the day but what about a full meal of the day? A lot of personal trainers and other fitness professionals will load most of their protein into a meal of the day, either around lunchtime, hours before a workout or after. While protein powders are handy in giving us a quick boost of protein, we wanted to finish out this article by sharing a full recipe that will give you a full boost without the need to snack.
For meat, tuna and chicken are the go-to options when it comes to getting an easily tracked dosage of protein. However, if you are not inclined to eat meat, for ethical reasons, you can try legumes as a substitute which are the equivalent of 65-100g of meat or fish, 170g tofu, two eggs or 30g nuts. Wholegrain pasta and sweet potatoes have a low GI (glycemic index), which means they release energy slowly, helping to extend your workout and increase your metabolism afterwards.
Want to know more about how nutrition works? Our nationally accredited 10967NAT Diploma of Nutrition qualifies you to become a Nutrition Advisor or Coach and offer specialised nutritional advice! Call us on 1300 616 180 or enquire now for more information.
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