What Should I Eat for Doing Pilates?

What Should You Eat for Doing Pilates?

What and when to eat before any exercise is always a puzzle. Pilates involves a lot of work on the core and mat. Is there a particular time it is better to eat before a Pilates session? Are there foods that are better to eat when you are preparing for Pilates? How about afterward?

Eating for Pilates

Many people wonder what to eat when they are going to do Pilates exercise. There is no special diet for Pilates.

However, there are a few things to consider about food choices as you move toward a workout.

What to Eat Before a Pilates Session

To fully take advantage of Pilates as a mind/body fitness method, you will want to take a look at what kinds of foods keep you feeling the most balanced. Also, since there is so much emphasis in Pilates on using your abdominal muscles, you will want to have a fairly empty stomach. Your core will be fully engaged and so it's best that you have eaten only lightly at your last meal, or had a small snack an hour or two before your class.

What to Eat for Energy Before a Pilates Class

What are the best choices for eating to have enough energy to get through a workout? You don't want to run out of energy in the middle of your workout so you will want to have had something to eat not too many hours before you work out. Going to Pilates without any breakfast may not give you enough energy, so at least a light snack is smart.

Complex carbohydrates and lean proteins, with a little high-quality fat, are good choices for a pre-Pilates meal as they sustain energy better than simple carbs or sugary things. A protein shake that uses fruit can be a convenient, light choice. You can adjust the portion size to suit you.

What Should I Drink Before and During Pilates?

Pilates is light to moderate intensity exercise and does not usually create a need for special sports drinks, but you will want to be hydrated.

Water is always a good choice. So it isn't sloshing in your stomach, drink a large glass of water 90 minutes to an hour before class. Your body will have time to eliminate the extra and you'll start off well-hydrated. You may want to have a bottle available to sip during class when you feel thirsty.

What Should I Eat After Pilates?

You want to make sure your body has enough of the nutrients it will need to strengthen your muscles and replenish your energy. Have another protein smoothie after class or light snack that includes protein as well as carbohydrate.

Your diet between workouts will depend on whether you have a goal of losing weight or you simply want to eat what is best for your body. 

More on Sports Nutrition for Pilates and Exercise

You will find a detailed information about working with exercise and nutrition in my interview with fitness expert, Cory Holly. She has a recipe for a Shake n Take smoothie to have before and after Pilates, plus advice on supplements and weight loss.

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