There are many tips and articles giving nutritional advice for mums-to-be, but the general rule is that you don't need to adjust your diet too much. It's widely known that taking supplements such as folic acid and iron can help support your body while pregnant, however, it's important to start with food and follow a well-rounded, healthy diet which includes protein, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables and plenty of water, and making sure to eat at regular intervals throughout the day to avoid drops in your blood sugar level.
When exercising during pregnancy, it's important to refuel and nourish your body after a workout, so that your body and baby can recover healthily. We've compiled a simple overview of the main food groups you should be looking to include in your diet, some simple snack ideas and a smoothie recipe that you can make quickly, right after your workout.
Main Food Groups For Post-Workout Pregnancy
Protein is a vital recovery food for any workout, and even more so when you're with a bump. Protein enables muscles to recover, repairing damaged muscles and tissue, speeding up the time it takes for your body to bounce back from a workout and create lean body mass. Your body will be under extra pressure whilst you're carrying your baby, so it's important to include nutrient-rich proteins such as meat, eggs, nuts and pulses.
It's important to note that well-cooked meat and eggs are fine, but be cautious with undercooked meats and eggs whilst pregnant as these can be harmful. Fish can also be a great source of protein, however, it's important to limit this to only a small amount: certain oily fish and shellfish can contain high amounts of Vitamin A, which are best avoided while pregnant. If you're ever unsure of whether a food is going to be completely safe, make sure to check with your doctor first.
Protein shakes and snacks are a good way to top up your protein intake, however, some products that contain artificial sweeteners and flavouring are less healthy. It's always best to check the ingredients and opt for organic where possible.
A wide variety of fruit and vegetables is also an important element of any pregnancy diet and will help your body stay healthy throughout each trimester. Fruits rich in Vitamin C, D and B, as well a mix of other essential minerals and nutrients that will both help your baby grow and repair your body post-workout. Make sure you're eating a wide mix of fruit and vegetables, aiming for five portions every day.
Carbohydrates are also essential for energy production and repair and recovery after exercise. Make sure you're including complex carbohydrates that will provide a release of energy for a longer period of time, such as brown rice, potatoes, brown bread and wholewheat pasta.
The important element of a diet for pregnancy fitness is balance and ensuring that you're including all the right components of a well-rounded, nutrient-rich diet. If you're ever unsure of whether a specific food is healthy to eat during pregnancy, check with your GP first.
Simple Snacks For After A Workout
Apple and Peanut Butter: quite literally, slices of apple, dunked in peanut butter. Delicious and easy to take with you for after the gym!
Carrot sticks with organic hummus: pop raw carrot sticks into a tub of organic hummus, with a drizzle of oil for flavour.
Hardboiled eggs and spinach leaves: popular for after the gym, these are also just perfect for a little extra protein while pregnant.
A small baked potato and lentils: lentils are a versatile food, rich in fibre, protein and iron, and the baked potato will provide carbohydrate for energy.
Tuna and tomato on rice crackers: tuna (in small doses when pregnant) provides ample protein for muscle recovery after exercise, we recommend topped onto rice crackers which are rich in carbohydrate.
The Perfect Post-Workout Pregnancy Smoothie
Combining plenty of vitamins, fibre and minerals, this smoothie combines the superfood kale, with delicious berries and banana. Packed with goodness, you and baby bumb will be bouncing back from your workouts in no time!
- 1 cup of kale
- 1/2 banana
- 100g blueberries
- 100g raspberries, cranberries, strawberries or other
- 1 tablespoon of chia, or dried goji berries
- 1 glass of milk
- 1 cup water or ice (if you like it slightly frozen!)
Looking for some tips on what exercise to do during pregnancy? Or what exercise to consider when in post-partum? Why not read our blogs by expert Fiona Campbell on how to exercise during your pregnancy or post-pregnancy exercise and getting back into shape.
Plus, we've got a great range of stretchy activewear that's perfect for exercising with your bump.