Best Foods to Eat Before a Workout
Most times we don’t think about what we put into our bodies before a workout and how it affects overall performance. Some of us go without eating, and simply wakeup and get right to it. I know I used to wakeup early in the morning, throw on some shorts and my shoes, and head out the door for a run. Everyone has their own routine, and if it works best for you then keep on doing what you’re doing! I had always struggled with finding a balance of what to eat before a workout, or if I was going to eat at all. Here are a few of the best foods to eat before a workout, and my favourites.
An Hour Before
My go-to snack before the gym is whole eggs, and a small bowl of plain oatmeal. I find this gives me a good amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. I normally have this meal about an hour to an hour and a half before my workout to ensure that I’m going in to the gym feeling comfortable and not full or hungry. Studies have shown that eating a meal that has a good combination of protein, fat, and carbs about 1-3 hours before you exercise will help to maximize results. This combination may seem too much for some people, and in that case you can always remove the eggs and add some fruit, nuts, and seeds into your oatmeal to ensure that you are getting a healthy balance of protein, fat, and carbs.
2 Hours Before
If I’m not going to workout for another 2 hours, I will normally have a bigger meal in order to provide me with enough nutrients and keep me full until I finish my workout. In this case I would normally chow down on a nice big chicken wrap. I use whole wheat wraps and spread either a bit of hummus or tzatziki to give it a bit more flavour. Next I’ll add about 1/2 or 3/4 of a sliced up chicken breast, and half of an avocado. Lastly, I’ll either throw spinach, kale, or both on top of the chicken and then I’m good to go. I find this will hold me until I’m done my workout, and also provides me with a good combination of protein, fat, and carbs in order to have energy during my workout. Another option that I would go with would be to have whole grain rice topped with chicken breasts and broccoli. Again, this provides the right amount of nutrients for me to be able to have a successful workout.
In a Hurry
Lastly, if you’re running late and you need to have a quick snack before heading out for your workout there are a few options to choose from. I normally stick to having a small handful of almonds and a banana. In this case you are getting a small amount of protein and fat from the almonds, and some carbs from the banana. Another option I go with is simply having a small protein shake mixed with water and a fruit such as a banana, or even a handful of blueberries. If I have to have a shake before hand, I like to mix it with water because I find milk makes me feel bloated and uncomfortable during my workout.
There are many different snack options to choose from, and it depends on the amount of time you have before your workout, and ultimately it depends on YOU. The above mentioned foods work well for me, but that’s not to say they will work for everyone. It’s important to try different combinations of food to see which ones sit well with you and provide you with enough nutrients to maximize your results. Next week I will get in to the best foods to consume after your workout.
Until next time,