We all know that eating healthy is important, but did you know that what you eat before a workout can make a big difference in your performance? If you’re looking for an edge in your next workout, try incorporating some of these foods into your pre-workout meal or snack.
When it comes to working out, what you eat beforehand can make or break your performance. Eating the right foods will give you sustained energy and help your muscles recover afterwards. Here are some of the best foods to eat before a workout:
- Oats – Oats are a complex carbohydrate that will give you lasting energy during your workout. They’re also high in fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- Bananas – Bananas are a great source of easily-digestible carbohydrates and potassium, which is an electrolyte that helps prevent muscle cramps.
- Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt is packed with protein, which helps repair and build muscle tissue. It’s also a good source of calcium, which is essential for bone health.
- Eggs – Eggs are another great source of protein, as well as vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are important for maintaining overall health.
- Coffee – Believe it or not, coffee can actually be beneficial before a workout. The caffeine provides a boost of energy, while the antioxidants help reduce inflammation.
The Best Pre-Workout Foods
The best pre-workout foods are those that will give you sustained energy throughout your workout. Foods high in simple carbohydrates like candy or cake might give you a quick burst of energy, but it won’t last and you’ll end up feeling tired and sluggish. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain bread, oatmeal, or sweet potatoes will give you sustained energy without the sugar crash.
Protein is also important for building muscle and recovering from your workout. A small amount of protein before your workout will help to keep your energy levels up and prevent muscle breakdown. Good sources of protein include lean meats, nuts, and seeds.
Fat is an important source of energy for your body and should not be avoided before a workout. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds will give you lasting energy and help to reduce inflammation.
Finally, staying hydrated is essential for all aspects of your health, including working out. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and bring a water bottle with you to the gym.
The Worst Pre-Workout Foods
Junk food is often marketed as being “high in energy,” but the truth is that it will only give you a short-lived burst of energy followed by a crash. Eating junk food before a workout will not only weigh you down, but it can also leave you feeling sluggish and unmotivated.
The worst pre-workout foods include:
- candy bars
- ice cream
- fruit juices
How to Time Your Meal Before Your Workout
If you’re looking to get the most out of your workout, it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrients at the right time. Here’s a guide to help you time your meal before your workout.
About an hour before your workout, eat a light meal or snack that includes carbohydrates and some protein. This will give you energy to power through your workout and help your muscles recover afterwards. Good options include:
-A slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter
-A banana with a small handful of nuts
-Greek yogurt with berries
If you have a more intense workout planned, you may want to eat closer to 30 minutes before so you have enough time to digest. Just make sure not to eat too much or you may end up feeling sluggish. In this case, good options include:
-A hard boiled egg
-A small bowl of oatmeal
-A fruit smoothie
There you have it — a list of some of the best foods to eat before a workout. Remember that what works for one person might not work for another, so it’s important to experiment and find out what works best for you. And, as always, make sure to consult with your doctor or health care professional before making any drastic changes to your diet.
No matter what your fitness goals are, eating the right foods before a workout is essential. The best foods to eat before a workout will give you the energy you need to power through your session and help your body recover afterwards. If you’re not sure what to eat before a workout, start with these three nutrient-rich options.