We all want to get the most out of a workout – to train harder, spin faster, run quicker, jump higher. And, while many of us prepare mentally for a challenging workout, we sometimes forget to fuel the engine or to do it properly. So what to eat before a workout?
There are certain best foods to eat before working out that will help our bodies prepare, and which can maximize your efforts in the gym.
While we all have different nutritional requirements, these known foods – which are the perfect balance of fats, carbs, and protein – can fuel your body, stave off hunger, fight fatigue, and even aid recovery.
For a standard hour-long workout your body needs a combination of carbs and proteins to fill up on energy for the workout and to repair muscle afterward.
A lot of people tend to skip this with the aim of burning more calories, but unless you are working out from 6am-7am it is not recommended to skip your pre-workout snack. As skipping this snack can lead to fatigue during your workout.
So what is a good pre-workout snack?
Here are some general Pre-Workout foods:
Oatmeal is the ultimate pre-workout snack packed with fiber and complex carbohydrates that help supply ample of energy throughout your workout.
Ideally, oats should be consumed 2 hours before your workout to avoid feeling hungry during the workout and also have a slow releasing energy throughout.
Known as nature’s power bar, bananas are packed with carbohydrates and potassium, which supports nerve and muscle function. Carbs are fuel for our body and brain, and they account for 90% of banana calories.
- Whole grains
Whole grains are complex carbs that pack energy. The carbohydrates are slowly released into the bloodstream and help maintain blood sugar levels.
This could enable you to sustain energy levels through an endurance workout longer than 40 minutes.
Whole grain dishes include quinoa salads, millet bread, spiced yogurt, whole bread toast, etc.
- Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt has exploded in popularity over the past few years — and for good reason. Besides being loaded with probiotics, helping keep your weight in check, and strengthening your bones with calcium and Vitamin D, Greek Yogurt is also an ideal pre-workout food.
Carbs provide that extra energy you need for your workouts and Greek Yogurt is loaded with them.
Not only that, but you’ll find a healthy amount of muscle-building protein to help you blast through a run or weightlifting session.
Another awesome benefit is that Greek Yogurt can stave off hunger, which is perfect for when you’re in the middle of a long workout.
- Egg whites or Boiled eggs
The yolk of the egg takes time to metabolize and more likely to make you feel bloated during the workout, therefore egg whites is the preferred pre-workout snack option.
A single egg white provides 4 grams of protein and no fat. A great choice to get muscle-building protein and amino acids.
Boiled eggs are a great source of protein and their yolk has plenty of nutrition. Combine this with a slice of whole-wheat bread to boost your energy levels.
- Grilled Chicken, Broccoli, And Sweet Potato
If you are working on building muscle mass or plan to hit circuit training hard, then this combo is a must-try. Although it is more of a meal than a snack, there’s a reason pro-athletes chow down on this regularly – and we think it’s time you gave it a go.
- Dried fruits
Dried fruits are a potent pre-workout snack and are an excellent option for when you’re running late or not in a mood to cook! You can have a handful of any of your favorite dried fruits like almonds, cashew, walnut, or even peanut! This will give you energy and make sure that you don’t feel hungry and drained after your workout.
- Peanut Butter and Toast
Peanut butter is a protein-rich snack and is loved by many fitness and health-conscious people. Another famous morning pre workout meal is peanut butter and toast.
Just scoop and spread peanut butter on a toast and enjoy that crunchy and creamy texture together! This snack helps you perform better and boost your energy levels.
- Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables
A chicken, rice, and veggie combo is a classic pre-workout meal. Fats, carbohydrates, and protein are your friends before exercise, and this meal will give you all that, plus amino acids that promote muscle growth as well as a source of slow-releasing energy.
Lastly, Hydration Is Also Crucial
Your body needs water to function.
Good hydration has been shown to sustain and even enhance performance, while dehydration has been linked to significant decreases in performance.
It’s recommended to consume both water and sodium before exercise. This will improve fluid balance.
Additionally, they recommend consuming a beverage that contains sodium to help retain fluids.