A proper pre-workout snack is vital since you’ll be putting your body through a great amount of energy-draining strain. You’ll want something that will not only fuel you throughout your workout, but not interfere with your fitness goals. You’ll be burning most of these foods, but make sure they won’t upset your stomach, slow you down or make you feel bad after eating.
You want a proper combination of carbohydrates and protein. Timing is important when choosing your pre-workout snack. The less time you have to eat before your workout, the more easily digestible your food should be. Otherwise, the ideal time to eat before a workout is 2 to 3 hours.
Carbs are your fuel. When the stomach breaks them down, they’re converted to glucose, which allows the body to use that fuel for energy. Stored carbs or glycogen are kept in the muscles, but they can be depleted over the course of your workout. Eating carbs ensures you’ll have enough glucose to run on. Without enough glucose, you’ll risk feeling weak and too tired to finish your workout. Sources of simple carbohydrates include fruit, oatmeal, Greek yoghurt, dried fruit, crackers, rice cakes and bread.
Protein is essential for people who are doing weight training. Protein helps repair and build muscles. This is vital since we create small tears in muscle fibres when lifting weights. Your worn-out muscles will be grateful for that regenerative protein. Choose easily digestible protein to avoid an upset stomach, such as nuts, Greek yoghurt, turkey, a hardboiled egg, and milk or soy milk.
If your workout starts within 2 to 3 hours or more, you could snack on whole wheat bread with sliced banana and cinnamon. The whole wheat bread is your healthy source of carbs. Bananas will increase potassium, which your body loses when you’re sweating excessively. Cinnamon has been proven to stabilize blood sugar and improve brain function. You could also eat a vegetable omelette with avocado. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, while vegetables like broccoli and tomatoes will provide you with nutrients and vitamins. Avocado is a healthy fat source and also provides you with fibre.
If your workout starts within 2 hours, try a protein shake. Shakes are easy to carry around and store, especially when you’re on the go. Use ingredients like fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt, almond milk, granola and protein powder. If you’re buying a pre-made smoothie, make sure it’s made from whey or milk-based proteins. You’ll only need 10 to 20 grams of your smoothie before exercising. You could also snack on oatmeal with fresh fruit. Get your carbs with oatmeal and toss in fruit like fresh berries to keep you hydrated. Another simple snack are fruit slices with almond butter. Almond butter is packed with protein. Pair it with fruit like apples or bananas for healthy sources of sugar, vitamins and minerals.
If you have an hour or less before your workout, eat Greek yoghurt and fruit. A little packet of Greek yoghurt can give you that energy boost you need before your workout. Just make sure to choose the plain variety and avoid the kind mixed with sugary fruits and other additives.