Nothing is more frustrating than being unable to complete a workout due to exhaustion. Who wouldn’t want to be able to exercise for longer and at a higher level if they ate before going to the gym?
If you don’t give your body the right nutrients before a workout, you risk delaying muscle recovery and possibly injuring yourself.
Pre-workout snacks can improve physical performance, prevent fatigue, and minimize muscle breakdown, so where do you start?
When To Eat Pre-Workout Foods
When you can fuel depends largely on the type of exercise you’re doing and the energy system your body employs. The phosphagen, anaerobic, and aerobic systems are the three key systems that your body employs.
If you’re doing a quick activity (like walking for 20-30 minutes), chances are you won’t need to eat something beforehand because our bodies have an unlimited supply of fat to use as fuel. However, if you’re doing high-intensity activities like intermittent team sports or weightlifting, your body will benefit from fueling up beforehand so glycogen/glucose reserves will be depleted.
The majority of research suggest that eating a pre-workout snack or meal around 2-3 hours before you exercise is the best time to do so. 8 If you’re going to eat an hour before your workout, select foods that are easier to digest to prevent stomach pain. For instance, limit yourself to carbohydrate and protein.
1.Porridge And Oatmeal
Oats are a wholegrain carbohydrate with a low glycaemic index, which means they digest more slowly, allowing you to release energy more slowly while still making you feel fuller. For an extra boost of energy and flavor, add a piece of fruit.
You may also add 1 scoop of protein powder for flavor and extra protein, which will aid in muscle growth and repair.
2. Boiled Egg On A Slice of Granary Seeded Toast
Boiled eggs are a perfect source of lean protein, and the yolk is packed with nutrients. Combine this with a slice of bread for an energy-boosting carbohydrate boost.
3. Greek Yoghurt With A Portion Of Fruit
Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein, and adding fruit to it adds some carbs for energy. You could also add a small handful of dried fruit to your yoghurt for a faster blood sugar and energy boost. Dried fruit contains more sugar than fresh fruit and should be used with caution, particularly if your blood sugar levels are being monitored for health reasons. If this is the case, a part of fresh fruit may be substituted.
4. Banana or Grapes
Both of these fruits have a higher tendency to raise blood sugar levels than other fruit alternatives. Eating one of these foods before your workout is an excellent way to raise your glycogen reserves and blood sugar levels.
5. Chicken, Rice & Vegetables
Bodybuilders all over the world eat this classic workout meal. The combination of lean protein, a good carbohydrate, and non-starchy vegetables is the key to this meal’s success. As previously mentioned, each of these foods has distinct properties that will aid in the supply of fuel to your body during your workout as well as recovery.
6. Smoothies With Fruit, Vegetables And Yoghurt
Many people believe that smoothies are nutritious, but since much of the fiber is lost during the mixing process, they are also high in calories and sugar. A smoothie, on the other hand, can be a perfect pre-workout choice because it contains a lot of fast-acting glucose. Only be careful how much fruit you put in; for added protein, combine 1 portion with some vegetables and yoghurt.
Take home message
There are numerous other items that can be consumed as a pre-workout, and the list is endless. These are just a few ideas, but the principle is to concentrate on carbohydrate and protein in order to push your workout to the next level.