• Food is fuel: what to eat before and after Pilates to best benefit your body.

    Food is fuel: what to eat before and after Pilates to best benefit your body.

    We’ve all been told before that our body is a temple, and we need to watch what we put into it.

    At Kaya, we recognise that our bodies are constantly evolving. Whether the change is happening physically or mentally, we’re moving fast or taking things slow — our body is always in of need of attention. That’s why we must be careful about how we choose to re-fuel, in order to carry on.

    It’s clear that our diet can either help or hinder our health and wellness journey. The only thing worse than feeling sluggish during a Pilates class—because of one too many slices of toast after work—is finding yourself light headed on the reformer bed. In order to maximise the benefits of Pilates practice, it’s important to remember — you are what you eat. In our opinion, being a banana smoothie doesn’t sound too bad.

    Pilates Classes

    Tips on nutrition for Pilates – before class:

    We don’t want you running on empty, but a full tank could have some disastrous consequences. Like in all parts of your Pilates practice, finding a balance is the only way.

    Our Pilates and reformer Pilates Prahran classes are all about your core. Let’s face it, the central focus on the abdominal muscles is why we love it so much. A full and grumbling stomach is only going to bring you down, both physically and mentally.

    We recommend keeping it light, especially if your class is in the morning — bacon and eggs don’t go well with leg kicks. Bananas are best, and nuts are good too. A small snack should help to preserve the energy needed for what our Pilates and Pilates reformer instructors have in store for you.

    Don’t forget — timing is everything. Try to leave at least an hour after eating, before the start of class.

    If you’re exercising in the afternoon — it’s true, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. In order to see physical results, you have to prepare yourself from the inside out. Because you don’t want to be ingesting anything too large or heavy before class, stocking up on the essential nutrients throughout the day is the best way to do it.

    Complex carbohydrates, protein and a touch of healthy fat is all you need to push yourself with your Pilates.

    Light snack ideas, to keep your wheels turning throughout class:

    • A banana — small and pocked sized, but packed full of nutrients.
    • A handful of nuts — walnuts are high in omega-3 fats and antioxidants.

    Peanut or almond butter on a slice of wholegrain or rye bread — this essentially just protein and carbohydrates on a plate. Preparing yourself for Pilates couldn’t be made easier, or more delicious.

    How to re-fuel your body after Pilates class:

    Snacking after class is simple. Healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein are the AB&C’s of a post class diet for Pilates.

    Our Pilates and Pilates reformer classes will work you hard. After seeing you sweat, we want to see you hydrate. H2O is the first and foremost go to. If you’re feeling sweet, coconut water is naturally rich in electrolytes.

    Smoothies are a great way to replenish protein and healthy fats — either after a long and challenging day, or to brighten up the morning as it begins. They continue to hydrate your body, and—if made with the good stuff—will provide it with enough nourishment to strengthen your muscles. Our Pilates and reformer Pilates Prahran classes may have demanded your energy — but they will have also produced it. A smoothie can help to maximise this post practice.

    It’s important to refuel your body with nutrients between 30 and 60 minutes after completing class. If we’ve tired you out too much to think, or you’re not keen on sweating in the supermarket — try the Kaya Espresso Bar. It’s got you covered.

    The newest addition to our smoothie menu is the AB&C’s—how fitting!—and has everything you need to reward yourself with after a Pilates Prahran class. It’s made with the post Pilates essentials: espresso, banana, dates, cacao powder, vanilla protein powder, almond butter and coconut milk. This gets our tick of approval.

    If it’s the evening, and you’re due for a full meal, a good source of protein is the perfect way to repair and rebuild your muscles. For all our Pilates people, we recommend incorporating eggs, lean chicken and seafood into your diet.

    Unrefined carbohydrates are also our close friends after class — needed to re-fuel the glycogen stores that have been given a good work out on the reformer bed. Quinoa, sweet potato and chickpeas work well in salads, and will absolutely do the trick.

    Post Pilates meals that are nice, and nutritious:

    • Any smoothie from our Kaya Prahran Espresso Bar — if you’re making one at home, be sure to stock up on a good quality protein powder. Vanilla flavour is our favourite.
    • A bowl of Greek yoghurt with fruit, nuts and oats. Get creative, and add a spoonful of peanut butter for a little extra protein.
    • An egg and vegetable omelette — roasted sweet potato, egg and spinach. A perfect post-Pilates trio.
    • Grilled chicken or fish with quinoa — add your favourite salad ingredients to brighten up the bowl.

    When practising Pilates regularly, it’s important to allow yourself to indulge in the good things. And by good, we mean good for your body — and soul. Local to our Prahran location, nutritionist Erin Bosanquet illuminates the importance of having a healthy relationship with food.

    Here’s something from Erin — to remember when time is tight, and you’re thinking that skipping a snack won’t make a difference. Because it will.

    ‘I take responsibility and pride for how I feed my body. I eat a plant-based diet, focusing on whole foods… I believe indulgences are a part of a healthy life. Deprivation is not’.

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    Love your insides, and watch your body benefit.

    With Kaya’s Pilates and reformer Pilates Prahran classes, it’s easy to do both. Try one today.

    Read here to discover the top 10 benefits of Pilates.