Eating the right thing before a workout is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Skipping pre-workout food will end up giving you low blood sugar, which will make you light-headed and you’ll tire out much faster. It’s pretty hard to work out when you’re exhausted and dizzy! The fact is, if you give your body better fuel, you’re going to get more out of your exercise and you’ll see better results. These are the foods we recommend eating within an hour of starting your workout.
It’s like a PowerBar, but good for you. Bananas are packed to the peel with digestible carbohydrates (which are great fuel) and potassium (helps maintain nerve and muscle function). That means a quick banana before working out gives you a great boost and helps you keep going longer. Plus, nature saw fit to make them incredibly portable, so they’re easy to grab and go on the run. It’s because of this that bananas are highly recommended when you’re crunched for time. They’re especially great for those of us that get our workouts done in the morning. Eating a quick banana with ½ cup of Greek yogurt is the perfect way to start the day with a hearty helping of carbohydrates and protein.
Oats are a fantastic source of fiber, which allows them to slowly release carbohydrates into your bloodstream over time. Because it provides a steady stream of carbs, your energy levels will stay consistent and you’ll avoid the spikes or crashes that some other foods can cause. That’s thanks to the B vitamins, which are integral to converting carbs into the energy you need. Having a cup of oatmeal at least 30 minutes before you start exercising will help you maximize that steel cut energy.
A slice of this true wonder bread is a fantastic source of carbohydrates. The best part about it is how well it works with other healthy pre-workout foods. Whether you top it off with some sliced up hard-boiled eggs for quality protein or you combine it with the power of a banana and some natural peanut butter (be sure it’s not loaded up with unneeded sugar), you’re able to maximize the nutritional power of the bread. If you’re going to be working out on your lunch break, throw a couple of slices of turkey on a slice of wholegrain to get your carbs and protein in a way that’s delicious and savory. Be sure you eat that at least 45 minutes before working out to make sure the nutrients have enough time to be digested and sent to your system.
-Greek Yogurt and Fruit
Maybe you’re not a banana fan. That’s ok! Most fruit is high in carbohydrates and can be substituted in place of bananas. Thanks to the fad that tried to kill off carbs, most people skip them in their nutrition. The reality is, protein alone doesn’t break down fast enough to become proper fuel for a workout. By combining the carbs from fruit with the protein of some good Greek yogurt, you’re able to get the fuel you need through carbs breaking down quickly while the protein helps prevent muscle damage when you’re cooling down.
-Foods to Avoid
This listing is obviously not all-encompassing, with many other foods being great for pre-workout nutrients. There are some foods that you should definitely steer clear of though. Avoid fatty foods, as fat leaves the stomach very slowly. That means you’ll feel full and lethargic, and you’ll be more susceptible to cramping. While carbohydrates are quite beneficial, avoid getting them from candy or raw sugar. You may get that initial sugar rush, but those rushes are typically followed by a big crash right in the middle of your workout. It’s also important you don’t eat too much before your workout. The last thing you need in the middle of pumping some iron is nausea and indigestion, or worse, vomiting.
We’ll be taking a look at the best snacks to eat after your workout very soon, but these steps should get you started on the right food. If you’re looking for more assistance with nutrition, call New You Fitness today! We’ve got the expertise and training to help you on your journey to a New You.