Hi, I’m Caroline! I’m a Columbus native who recently turned 20 and loves food. Like, seriously, I

love food. Searching for it. Cooking it. Savoring it. Scarfing it. But prepping it? Not so much. I call myself both a “foodie,” and also a fitness enthusiast. I will admit that, other than cooking, working out is usually the best part of my day.

I am fascinated to learn about nutrition, empowered from working out, and relaxed after spending time baking or cooking. My health and wellness journey began about six years ago and has grown today to be a very large part of how I identify myself. In no way am I an expert, but I have learned lots through the years (mostly from failure…so I often preach to never be afraid to fail). I’m here to explain what helps fuel me before and after my workouts!

Carbs

Without a question, no matter what type of workout, you always want to reach for something high in carbs. The body uses carbs as energy from the break down of glucose. The simpler the carb, the faster they are digested creating quick energy for us to kick butt in our workouts. Always have granola bars, energy bars, or fruit like bananas, oranges, and apples on hand. Beets by Zest is one of my favorite juices before a workout because it’s high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that increases oxygen in the blood, tissues, and brain. The only difference for what to eat after your workout is to choose a more complex carbs. Some of my go-to choices are brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. When I’m on the go, I stop at Zest for a Super Spirulina. 

Protein

Times when I’m just going to dance or do cardio I stick to eating carbs. However, when weight lifting is involved then protein is so important. For a pre-workout I don’t believe protein is necessary but most definitely a must after a workout.

How much? It depends on your intensity as well as your goals. If you’re trying to build muscle I would opt for something with 20-25 grams of protein.

Timing

Pre-workout: it’s best to eat anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours before but everybody is different. Figure out how much time works best for your performance. I’m one of those who thrives in the morning. I’m up and headed to the gym a little after 5 a.m., so a brown rice cake is usually what I grab. If you prefer to workout later in the day then I would recommend 30 minutes to an hour before your workout having a small snack (100-200 kcal) OR planning to work out 2-3 hours after a well-rounded meal.

Post-workout: EAT RIGHT AFTER! Even if you aren’t hungry eating 30-45 minutes after is key.

Why?

Your body is trying to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle proteins. Yeah, you may not be hungry right when you finish later BUT all the sudden it hits and you will be starving from that workout. And when I’m starving not only am I unpleasant, but also I tend to binge on way more than my tummy can hold. The bowls at Zest always fill me up! My two favorites are the The Green Bowl and Strawberries N’ Cream.

Hydration

I used to laugh at those people who carry around gallons of water but I’ve actually turned into one of them…IT IS SO NECESSARY TO DRINK WATER. Water is amazing. Google it. From improving skin to boosting the immune system, the benefits of water are never ending.

Hopefully you found this article helpful! If you enjoyed this or have any other questions feel free to DM me on Instagram @carolinefrancofitness or email carolinefrancofitness@gmail.com. Happy eating, training, and then more eating!

 4 oz. of baked salmon with roasted zucchini and bell peppers, quinoa, andmicro greens

4 oz. of baked salmon with roasted zucchini and bell peppers, quinoa, andmicro greens

 Coconut Oatmeal with almond butter, mango, kiwi, rx protein bar chunks and flaked coconut. Oatmeal: Bring 1 cup of coconut milk to a boil and add ½ cup oats. After cooking add a scoop of protein powder and a pinch of pink salt.

Coconut Oatmeal with almond butter, mango, kiwi, rx protein bar chunks and flaked coconut. Oatmeal: Bring 1 cup of coconut milk to a boil and add ½ cup oats. After cooking add a scoop of protein powder and a pinch of pink salt.

 Chocolate Protein Banana Ice Cream: 3 frozen bananas + 1 scoop chocolate protein + ¼ cup almond milk. I cut up a peanut butter Perfect Bar for the topping.

Chocolate Protein Banana Ice Cream: 3 frozen bananas + 1 scoop chocolate protein + ¼ cup almond milk. I cut up a peanut butter Perfect Bar for the topping.