Your body is an absolute unit and working out is essential to keeping it functioning properly. But putting in the hours at the gym and coming home to devour that giant pizza you told yourself you’d share with your roommates isn’t going to do your body any favors.
To make the most of your workout, it’s important to fuel up with the right foods and drinks for your pre-workout meals.
The reason why you see most people struggle for seeing results is because of their poor nutrition. It’s not just about counting calories, but making sure those calories come from the right sources.
When to eat before a workout
A lot of people think that they can just eat anything before a workout and it doesn’t matter, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Today, we’ll be debunking those myths.
You might be thinking, “I don’t want to eat before a sweat session, I’ll just feel sluggish.” But if you don’t fuel your body properly before working out, you won’t have the energy to push yourself and you won’t see the results you’ve been dying to see!
Timing should be your best friend and it has been proven that eating before a workout can improve athletic performance and could allow you to go that extra mile in your workout.
It is ideal to eat a small pre workout meal or small snack 30-60 minutes before you dive into intense workouts for sustained energy.
This is because it takes about this amount of time for the food to be properly digested. One benefit to working out is that your glycogen levels are lower than usual. This can help improve your performance and quicken muscle mass recovery post-workout.
However, working out with an empty stomach can increase the production of free radicals and cause muscle damage, that’s why eating food before a workout is important.
What to eat before a workout
Pre-workout nutrition is important, but what you eat is just as vital. You want to make sure that your meal or snack before a workout is easily digestible and contains complex carbohydrates and proteins.
Examples of complex carbs are:
- Whole grain cereal / bread
- Brown rice
Whether you want to lose weight and gain new muscle, or simply improve your performance, what you eat before a workout will affect how you feel and support muscle recovery.
A lot of people think they need to gorge on protein before a workout, but that’s not necessarily the case. Eating too much lean protein can lead to feeling tired and bloated. A balanced meal with complex carbs and some protein is the best way to go.
Some great pre-workout snack ideas include:
- Protein shakes with added banana slices
- Greek yogurt with berries
- A handful of nuts or seeds
- A hard-boiled egg
- A small bowl of oatmeal with fruit
- A slice of whole-grain toast with avocado or nut butter
Sounds delicious, huh? Who says pre-workout snacks have to be boring?
Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and figure out what works best for you. Some people can tolerate more food before a workout than others.
What not to eat before a workout
Now that we’ve gone over what you should be eating, let’s talk about what you shouldn’t be eating before a workout.
These lists of food can be disruptive to your workout, feeling heavy and making you feel sluggish. Your body fat percentage also plays a role in how you should be fueling your body.
The best rule of thumb is to avoid high-fat foods and high-fiber foods as these can take longer to digest. Taking longer times to break down these foods can be a recipe for disaster, leading to cramps and an upset stomach.
Opt for easy-to-digest carbs and proteins instead. This way, you’ll have enough energy to pound through intense cardio and achieve your workout goals.
You’ll also want to stay away from foods that are acidic as they can cause indigestion and heartburn. Some examples of food to avoid are:
- Fatty meats such as bacon or sausage.
- Fried foods.
- Protein bars with a lot of sugar.
- Candy or sweets.
- High-fat dairy such as whole milk, cheese, or ice cream.
And while we’re on the topic of what not to eat, it’s important to mention that you should also avoid drinking alcohol before a workout as it can dehydrate you and make it even harder for you to perform at your absolute best.
A substantial snack can give you immediate energy that can help you lose body weight and support muscle growth. Your digestive system will thank you, too!
We believe that the road to fitness shouldn’t be complicated or require a lot of time and money.
Another thing that’s on your mind shouldn’t be a hassle to even think about, is what foods you can have and what they can do to affect your workout.
This is a community that supports each other with simple tips and tricks that make a world of a difference, and we’re here to provide just that!
That’s why we give you tips that are quick, effective, and easy to implement so you can get on with your workout without a hitch!