The secret to a successful HIIT workout

Whether you’re short on time or constantly find yourself running from one errand to the next, HIIT workouts are perfect for anyone with a busy schedule. HIIT, abbreviated from High Intensity Interval Training, is a system of cardio training with repeated, short duration, high-intensity exercises followed by active recovery.

If you’re trying out HIIT with a personal trainer or you’ve taken a liking to online HIIT workouts like ours, it’s important to fuel your body with the right foods. Due to the intensity of these workouts, you need to follow a healthy eating plan with adequate nutrition both leading up to a workout and immediately following one.  

So, where should you start?

Pre-Workout Snacks

Before any workout you should eat foods that are high in carbs, rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. The goal here is to keep your energy up and your stomach satisfied. You also need to make sure it is something light that can be easily digested by your body. Before you hastily grab a packet of Luna bars, remember this: Don’t eat less than three hours before your HIIT workout. Trust me…you won’t feel so great doing all those burpees!

Here are some yummy snacks you can munch on before your workout:

  • Greek yogurt or Cottage Cheese with Fruit
  • Dried Fruit and Almonds
  • Half a Banana and Yogurt

Remember, everyone is different! What you eat pre-workout depends primarily on your body. Experiment with different foods before your workout. Take a note of how you feel during your workout. Strong and energetic or tired and lethargic? Once you’ve found your performance-enhancing snack, stick to it!

Post Workout Snacks

What you eat or don’t eat after your workout can greatly affect how you feel the next day and the days following. After a HIIT workout you need to refill your energy stores (glycogen) so your body can repair muscles that were broken down during the workout. Leading nutritional experts have found that a combination of carbs and protein is the most effective.

Here is what you should eat 30 minutes after your HIIT workout:

In addition to your healthy pre and post workout snacks, there is one thing you absolutely can’t forget. WATER! Staying hydrated before, after, and during your workout is key to avoiding injury and maintaining energy levels.

Once you start fueling your body with the proper nutrients before and after your workout, you’ll notice a significant difference in your energy levels and performance.  

I want to hear from you! What you do eat before and after your workout? How has this affected your workouts?

Britteny Salvador

Britteny Salvador is an inflexible yogi, aspiring gardener and healthy eating advocate. In her spare time you'll find her on the mat or trekking through the outdoors.

  1. I want to make sure I understand the 3 hours before for the HIIT. I need to eat, but more than 3 hours before?

    I wanted to do it in the morning once a week, as I do resistance, weight other days, some with a trainer.

    My normal morning workout time is 6:45 AM sometimes just cardio, have a gym membership so take advantage of track and equipment there.

    I work out with a trainer at 10:am and found half a banana about an hour before was helpful, maybe with a handful of mixed nuts.

  2. I disagree with the grain (bagels, toast, cereal) recommendations. Grains can be inflammatory foods. I’m surprised they are still being pushed as “good carbs.”

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