Most people who work out regularly are very particular about their body and fitness levels. However,one of the main questions that they constantly battle within themselves is whether to feed or fast before a workout?For your body to continue performing well, you’ve got to fuel up-and that means eating the right foods before your workout. Not eating before a workout can result in low blood sugar, which leads to fatigue.
Manuel Villacorta, R.D., author of Eating Free and Peruvian Power Foods says, “If I don’t have my pre-exercise meal, my workout isn’t the same and it feels like a waste.” “If you fuel correctly, you will work out harder,” he adds.
Here are some Pre work out food options :
We are well aware that protein is vital for muscle growth and carbs are crucial for energy.But, certain foods are better than others for fueling up your body before you work out. After all, you use different muscles and burn out different levels of calories depending on if you’re lifting, doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or doing cardio.
Eating clean prior will give you the pump to rip up that work out. You should ideally eat at least 1 hour before the work out. This will do three things: sustain energy, boost your performance and speed up the recovery process.
Pre-workout food needs to have carbohydrates, some protein and some fat, to get you through longer workouts by providing you with energy. It also has to be light enough so that it doesn’t weigh you down or make you lethargic.
Fruits- mainly Banana and Apple are one of the most perfect pre workout food as they are loaded with digestible carbs, packed with minerals such as potassium and fiber which helps to maintain both nerve and muscle function. According to Dr. Louise Burke, head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport and coauthor of The Complete Guide to Food for Sports Performance: Peak Nutrition for Your Sport, Bananas are nature’s Power Bar. They are also linked in lowering the blood pressure, boosting the alertness, etc.The carbs from fruits break down quickly and the protein is used later to prevent the damage of muscle.
- PEANUT BAR
Peanut bar is a perfect pre workout snack if you’re hitting the gym straight from work/office, as these are portable and energizing yet wholesome. It provides carbs to fuel up your muscles and is rich in fiber, protein, necessary fats, etc. It will keep your stomach satisfied and the energy levels up.
- GREEK YOGURT
It has double the amount of protein than a regular yogurt, has fewer carbs, sodium, and sugars, making it a pre-workout supplement power house. Unless you’re lactose intolerant, it is very easy on the stomach. What you get is a mix of fast and slow digesting proteins, which provide muscle-building amino acids while you work out. You can add fruit, whole-grain cereal or honey, for an extra kick of energy.
For a sustained workout, eating an avocado just a few hours prior can provide valuable and healthy fat for that energy boost when depletion of carbohydrates occur. A small avocado is enoughsince you don’t need a lot of fat. But, don’t be afraid of this kind of fat. Avocado also contains vitamins that help your body metabolize all those healthy carbs and proteins you’ve been packing away.
- NUTS & SEEDS
Munching nuts and seeds is the best for pre-workout nutrition as they cover all your macronutrient bases, having carbs, protein, and fat. Eating a few nuts/seeds during a sustained workout can also provide a boost of energy to keep you going during endurance activities. I personally love chia seeds, as they’re loaded with omega-3 fats for sustained energy, protein, and antioxidants. Having these just a few hours before a long, intense workout can really help in fueling up. You can even have them during sustained activity such as trekking or cycling to get a boost of energy.
- ALMOND BUTTER/ PEANUT BUTTER
High in protein and unsaturated fats, Almond butter and peanut butter are great for your pre-workout meal. They are minimally processed with few added sugars and also has double the cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat. Moreover, almonds can protect against insulin resistance and prediabetes. Spread Almond/Peanut butter on a slice of wholegrain bread for a long, slow-burning energy supply.
They are packed with fiber and you must be aware of why fiber is important for your diet. Slowly releasing glucose into the bloodstream without the insulin spike, and B vitamins boosts metabolic conversion, oatmeal gives you satiation and sustained energy. Steel-cut oats are the least processed as they are finely chopped. Ready-to-cook or instant oats are precooked, dried and mostly contain added sugar. So swap that instant oats pack with steel-cut oats.
- WHOLEGRAIN BREAD
Wholegrain bread is a very good source of carbs. And, you can top it up with honey, low fat spread like almond butter, or eggs for high quality protein supplement etc. This means it has flexible partners. If you’re to hit the gym during lunch hours, eat this about 45 minutes before you head out.
Plan your exercise for the day, add some pre-workout supplements and nosh on these foods to fuel up your body to give your best during the workout.
So, how are you fueling up today?