If you’re anything like me, working out is part of your (almost) daily routine. Whether it’s a spin class, a hot yoga session, a barre class, or an outdoor run, getting a workout in (even if it’s quick) is key to a successful day. But what’s key for a successful workout? Many people have a hard time figuring what to eat before a workout, and some even wonder whether they should eat at all. Forgoing food before exercising can actually be quite dangerous. Your body requires nutrients and energy to be able to perform at a high intensity and sustain endurance. Just make sure to leave time for the food to digest. Eating about 30-45 minutes prior to your workout is ideal.
Everyone’s nutritional requirements vary, depending on their goals and exercise routines, but there are certain healthy snacks that offer just the right amount of energy, protein, carbs and fats to ensure that your workout is at its tip top each time. A combination of proteins and carbohydrates guarantees you’re fueled up throughout your gym session, and a mix of complex and simple carbohydrates ensures that your energy release is steady.
From Greek yogurt with trail mix to a fruit and protein smoothie, here are 5 healthy snacks to eat before you workout.
Whole wheat toast with nut butter and banana
Whole-wheat toast with nut butter and banana provides you with the perfect mix of complex and simple carbs. The toast will keep you going throughout your workout, while the banana gives you a burst of much-needed energy; plus the combo is easy to digest. Bananas are also a great source of potassium, which declines in your body when you sweat a lot, and nut butter is packed with protein, giving you a pre-workout boost!
Greek yogurt & trail mix
Since yogurt is easy on the stomach, it’s ideal to eat prior to a long run or high-intensity cardio workout. Throw in some trail mix (dried fruit, seeds and nuts), and you’ve got an excellent source of energy. The nuts will also keep your insulin levels from dropping mid-sweat session. Just don’t go overboard. Seeds and nuts are high in fat and can make you feel sluggish if you eat too many.
Fruit & Protein Smoothie
Smoothies are awesome because they are quick, and you can make them your own, adding in your favourite fruits and proteins. They also provide an energy boost to keep you revved throughout your workout routine. Blend your choice of sliced fruit with a cup of Greek yogurt and a touch of protein powder (10-20 grams before exercising is plenty). You can also substitute the powder with peanut butter, as it is an excellent source of protein.
Oats & Eggs
A bowl of oatmeal with eggs on the side ticks off numerous requirements for a kick-ass pre-workout meal. Oatmeal is a complex carb that’s high in fiber and vitamin B, a combination that slows the release of sugar from your blood stream, giving you loads of energy. It also makes you feel full for longer. Eggs are packed with protein, and the yolk is filled with lots of essential nutrients that will keep you strong through your workout.
Tuna on a Leafy Green Salad
If you want to stay away from carbs prior to your workout, make sure to fill your body with protein-rich foods such as tuna and leafy greens. Salads are great to eat pre-workout as they keep your blood vessels dilated, which expands blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. Leafy greens also produce fuel and energy to your body, making you feel more awake and less sluggish.
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