While you certainly don’t want to fill up right before a big workout, getting certain power foods in your system before starting out can give you that extra boost of energy and focus that can help you make the most of your gym routine. You’ll want to eat a small, light meal that your body can quickly process and burn off without slowing you down.
Although something sugary may seem appealing for the initial rush it can give you, when you work the sugar out of your system you could find yourself suddenly more worn out than before. Similarly, caffeine can not only make you crash but also puts you at risk for dehydration. A lot of salt can also make you excessively thirsty and dehydrated, which may make you dizzy and can also make your joints sore or your muscles cramp.
You do want to aim for protein-rich foods that are low in fat (which is hard for your body to burn off immediately); these can be paired with light carbs. The combination of both is ideal for the best kind of energy boost and will sustain you better than one or the other alone. The correct kind of carbohydrate that you might want to munch on before hitting the gym is going to be low in sugar. This includes whole grain or wheat breads, oats or some low-fiber, non-white rice or pasta; for example, a multigrain couscous or quinoa.
Some pre-workout snack suggestions:
- Trail mix, especially unsalted and with nuts
- Dense, non-watery fruits
- A few cheese cubes, a few wheat crackers
- A fruit and soy protein smoothie
You want to be sure to take a break for 30 minutes to an hour to be sure your snack has properly processed before you begin working out. This will not only help you avoid stomachaches, but also gives your body ample time to turn your food into fuel. Water before and during your workout will help the food break down and keep you invigorated. For any further questions about what to eat before your workout visit our nutritional specialist at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville Gym.