Whether its a pre workout snack, pre workout meal or drink, there are a ton of different ways to fuel your workout. Now in general you don’t need to eat or drink something for your workout, but if you feel drained during your training it can make the difference between just finishing your set or pushing that extra rep or 2 in. So what are the best food options for before the gym?
About 30 minutes before your gym hit you should eat a light snack consisting of carbs and protein. You want to keep your food intake light before the gym with an emphasis on carbs over protein. Protein isn’t going to be a energy source for you workout, whereas it works to help recovery. When we exercise, we create small tears in our muscle fibers. Protein helps those muscles heal and grow stronger. Carbs, however, will be the energy source for your workout. Before a workout, you should eat simple carbohydrates, because they are digested fast and provide quick energy. Look for pre workout meal and snack options with around 25 to 40 grams of carbohydrates and about 10 grams of protein for an optimal pre workout snack.
Before your workout you should be getting hyped for your hit, the last thing you want is your pre workout snack making you feel sluggish. To avoid this steer clear of dairy and high-fat or high-fiber foods, all of which can upset your stomach, slow down the absorption of carbs, and leave you feeling sluggish. Also keep in mind carbohydrates are good, but you should not get them from raw sugar or candy.These foods can cause a sugar rush, and what comes up, must come down so the dreaded crash will follow.
Some great options for before the gym include fruits, oats and yogurt. Fruits such as bananas are great for before the gym. Bananas are loaded with digestible carbohydrates and are packed with potassium, which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function. Oats are full of fiber but not so much so that you are gassy throughout your workout. Oats also contain B vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates into energy. Fruit in general is high in carbohydrates and Greek yogurt is packed with high-quality protein. The carbs from fruit break down quickly and the protein is used later to prevent muscle damage; creating the perfect pre workout snack.
Now if you are someone who would rather not workout after eating but still need a kick of energy, there are even more options for you! You can select from the vast options of pre workout drinks and additives to really amplify your workout.