Everyone wants to make the most of their workout – to run quicker, train harder, jump higher and spin faster. While most of us physically and mentally prepared for a challenging workout, we often overlook the fuel that’s needed to kickstart an engine properly. It’s important to prepare your body to perform better. And you do this by consuming specific pre-workout foods, meals or snacks that will maximize your overall effort.
Everyone has different nutritional requirements. However, a perfect balance of protein, fats and carbs is essential for staving off hunger, aiding recovery and fighting fatigue. Let’s go over a few pre-workout foods that you can consider before your workout session.
Fruit And Greek Yogurt
While the fruit is packed with essential carbs, Greek yogurt carries a protein-filled punch. In fact, when compared to the regular yogurt, Greek yogurt contains nearly double the amount of protein. Not just that, it has half the amount of sodium and fewer carbs.
Why do these two make for a perfect pair, you ask? Well, the carbs in the fruit tend to break down almost immediately. Therefore, they serve as fuel for your upcoming workout. On the other hand, protein from the yogurt remains in the body for longer and prevents muscle damage. So, it really is a perfect pairing.
Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants that are responsible for breaking down free radicals that cause cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. When combined with bananas, yogurt (the non-fat, partial or full-fat version), almond milk, and ice, you’d have the perfect drink to crush your workout.
Dried fruits and nuts are a great source of simple carbohydrates and high-fat content. They are easily digestible and have an ample amount of protein and calories for people working on gaining muscles. However, if you’re looking to lose weight, steer clear of this option. You can buy pre-prepared trail mix from any departmental store. Just remember, to skip the ones that have yogurt or chocolate-coated nuts. In general, try to go for trail mixes that contain
- Nuts: almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios
- Seeds: pumpkin, sesame, hemp, and flax
- Dried fruits: dried apples, figs, raisins, apricots, goji berries, dates, pineapple chunks, and cranberries
- Grain: granola, toasted oats, bran flakes, whole-wheat crackers, puffed rice, and popcorn
Oats is one of the best pre-workout foods to have. Since they’re chock-full of fibre, oats tend to store carbohydrates for longer and release gradually. As a result, energy levels remain consistent during your workout. Oats also contain Vitamin B, that’s crucial for converting carbs into energy, so you can train harder for longer. As a rule of thumb, fitness experts recommend Irish oats as the best kind for pre-workout consumption. They’re processed the least and have a lower glycemic load. So, next time you’re running grocery errands, remember to keep a lookout!
Grilled Chicken, Broccoli and Sweet Potato
If you’re planning to hit circuit training hard or working towards building muscle mass, this nutritious combo will change your life. This might sound like a heavy meal than a snack. However, there’s a reason why you find fitness-freaks and pro-athletes talking about it on a regular basis. And it’s time you give it a whirl. The grilled chicken supplements the necessary carbs, fat, and sodium, potassium and calories needed for an intense workout. The broccoli and sweet potato are a great source of Vitamin A, fiber and minerals that support gut health.
Finding a pre-workout combination that complements your nutritional needs can be difficult at first. But, once you finally do, you’d be more energetic and will be able to meet your fitness targets faster. While the above ideas may be helpful, you can always find other healthy options that work better for you.