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Female gym-goer FAQ

I don’t have time to eat before going to the gym in the morning. Does this matter?

There are many benefits to eating a healthy breakfast before heading to the gym. It’s important to fuel your session after an overnight fast otherwise the quality of your session will suffer. Eating breakfast will also boost your concentration and motivation. Good breakfast options include eggs on toast, porridge and Greek yoghurt with fruit.

Do I need a sports drink if I’m just going to an exercise class?

If you’re exercising for less than 60 minutes you have more than enough stored energy to get you through your workout without the need for an isotonic sports drink. To avoid dehydration, take a bottle of water or squash to sip throughout the session. If you are aiming to lose weight, you may also want to avoid sports drinks even if your session is longer than 60 minutes.

What should I eat after my session?

Hitting the gym doesn’t give you license to eat what you want afterwards! Eat a small snack containing some carbohydrate and protein. Good examples include yoghurt with nuts, peanut butter on a bagel or chocolate milk. Make sure you replace fluid lost as sweat by drinking 300-500 ml of water after your session.

Will protein shakes make me look muscly?

No! Eating a lot of protein in the form of natural foods or sports supplements will not increase your muscle size alone. If you eat regular portions of protein throughout the day, as part of a healthy balanced diet, and perform regular strength based exercise, you may be able to increase your muscle mass.

What’s likely to cause my stomach cramps during my treadmill session?

Stomach cramps can be caused by a number of things. Eating too close to exercise or eating food that is high in fat and fibre before exercise can cause stomach cramps. Eat your main meal 3-4 hours before your session and top up your energy levels with a light carbohydrate snack 30-60 minutes before exercise. Good examples include a banana, oat based cereal bar, smoothie or yoghurt.