We know that food is fuel for your body, and the more you engage in working out, the more fuel your body will need. But the foods you eat before a work out are not created equally, and what is best for your body will depend greatly on what kind of workout you are going to complete. Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy to eat before working out, but even carbohydrates work differently. To save you some time and trouble, we’ve compiled a list of pre-workout foods that are excellent for your training session and an explanation of why each food is beneficial. Enjoy!
Fresh fruit is a class pre-workout staple for a reason. It contains natural sugars and offers a range of medium to high glycemic index carbohydrates, meaning it will give your blood sugar a nice boost. Fruits are perfect to eat before shorter workouts that are of an intensive nature.
Yogurt is another one of the most excellent pre-workout foods because it is full of healthy protein, and the options are limitless. The carbohydrates in yogurt are on the lower end of the glycemic index, which makes it a great snack for longer endurance workouts, but if you pick a yogurt with fruit at the bottom, it’s a great fuel for high intensity, brief workouts as well! You can’t go wrong here! Click on the link to find out why yogurt is so good for you.
Fresh juice, if sipped for at least thirty minutes before a workout and followed by some water, is an excellent energy booster to imbibe before you exercise. Most freshly squeezed juices contain high glycemic index carbohydrates, so you’ll get that quick boost of energy, and following it up with some water will help prevent any unwanted cramping. Do note that it’s always better to enjoy raw fruit over fruit juice since juice delivers a high sugar content without the fibre of fruit, but as mentioned it can give you a good energy boost to carry you through your workout.
Some energy bars are an excellent pre-workout snack, but you have to read the label carefully. Any bar that has over 5 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, or 10 grams of protein is better after you work out, since the body has a tougher time digesting fat and fiber. Otherwise, shoot for a protein bar with around 40 grams of carbohydrates an hour or two before you engage in exercise and feel fantastic afterward. Once again, remember that a lot of the energy bars you’ll find are packed with added sugar, which is not something you want to include in your pre-workout foods. Click here to find out why sugar is so bad for your skin.
If you’re going for a morning workout, a bagel is a great option, especially if it is whole grain. Whole grain bagels give you carbohydrates that are on the lower end of the GI spectrum and help you power through a longer workout.
Another morning treat that doubles as an outstanding source of energy for exercising is oatmeal. Like whole wheat bagels, oatmeal is a stamina increasing source of fuel that will leave you feeling full and energized for your morning workout.
Peanut Butter Toast
One final breakfast favorite that also makes a delicious choice for pre-workout snacking is a piece of whole grain toast with some one-ingredient peanut butter spread on top. Peanut butter will offer you just the right amount of protein for recovery, and the toast will give your body the high GI carbs you need to get through an endurance-requiring exercise routine. It easily makes our list of favorite pre-workout foods!
Especially when paired with a robust tomato sauce for extra carby goodness, pasta is an excellent pre-workout selection if eaten at least three hours before a workout. You want to give your body plenty of time to settle before working out after a heavier meal, so you can use the energy without the cramps.
If you’re engaging in strength training, then protein is one of the best pre-workout foods to opt for. Salmon is an excellent option due to its lightweight flavor profile and the protein punch it packs. Help build and repair your muscles by fueling up right before a workout involving weights by piling on the protein beforehand!
Water with Electrolytes
Hydration is key to boosting your endurance in any workout. Hydrating with water that has been enhanced with electrolytes is a better option than just plain sports drinks because you’ll have less sugar to contend with and healthier hydration. Keep your muscles strong from beginning to end!