A bit about me and pre workout fuel, I don’t always listen to the advice I’m going to share with you in a bit. Its just I have never been a fan of eating before I train or compete. Although I know of the great benefits, I’ve always preferred training on an empty stomach and that is just my own personal preference and also I have come to understand what my body responds best too over many years of being in the health and fitness industry. I make sure I have a good diet throughout the day and I always, well, maybe not ALWAYS because you know… LIFE happens… but more often than not I have energy to train. Yet I do know that some people need an extra kick and some extra fuel to help them get the most out of their workout. With this being said it is not healthy to always rely on pre workout snacks as then mentally you are relying on it to get you through the workout rather than just trusting your body to cope… and our bodies are incredible working machines.
Here are 4 important pointers - so take note:
1. Time your pre-workout snack right.
30 minutes -60 minutes before your workout. You may have to experiment to see which time frame is best for you. If you're working out first thing in the morning you probably won't be able to eat a big meal before your workout. A small pre workout snack mentioned above will be perfect.
2. Hydration! Drink water!
Sip on water throughout the day; carry a water bottle around with you. You want to avoid dehydration. This can cause low energy and muscle cramps or spasms.
3. Go for a pre-workout snack with carbs.
Carbs = energy. When we eat them, they break down into glucose, enter our muscle cells, and give us fuel to exercise at our maximum capacity. Your muscles store glucose in the form of glycogen and dip into these reserves when you're putting them to work. When it comes to what to eat before a workout, eating carbs before you exercise ensures that you'll have extra glucose on hand if you need it to replenish those glycogen stores. If you're strapped for glucose during your workout you'll likely feel weak and tired, and will be tempted to call it quits and take a nap.
4. Make sure your pre-workout snack has protein.
In addition to carbs it's a good idea to consume a little bit of protein before your workout—especially if you are doing weight training. When we do strength-training exercises such as lifting weights, we create small tears in our muscle fibres. When you rest, your body repairs those micro-tears, building up your muscles bigger and stronger than they were before—and it needs protein to do it.
But let’s get to it...
There are certain foods which are best to eat before a workout and which will enable you to maximise your efforts. Yes, we do all have different nutritional requirements but these foods (which are the perfect balance of fats, carbs, and proteins) will fuel your body, fight fatigue and also aid in recovery!
Pre-workout snack examples:
1. Fruit smoothie
Blend your favourite fruit, leafy greens and coconut water for hydration, this is an awesome energy boosting pre-workout treat. Liquid calories are digested quicker than solid food so this is a good pick for those that don’t feel well eating too close to exercise.
·Known as nature’s power bar, bananas are packed with carbohydrates and potassium, which supports nerve and muscle function.
3. Oats , peanut butter /nut butter and honey
· Because they are full of fibre, oats release carbohydrates gradually. Due to this slow release, energy levels are kept consistent throughout your workout, meaning you can train harder for longer. They also contain Vitamin B, which helps convert carbohydrates into energy. Rolled oats are often considered the best, as they are the least processed type and boast a lower glycemic load than quick-cooking and instant oats.
4. Apple & raw almonds
·Both apples and almonds contain fibre, which will help keep you satiated throughout your workout. The apples also provide fluids, helping to keep you hydrated.
5. Dried Fruit with mixed nuts
· The natural sugar in dried fruit will give you a quick energy boost and is perfect for on-the-go snacking. Dried fruits are a good source of simple carbohydrates that are easily digestible.
6. Whole wheat bread ( eggs on toast)
· One slice is an excellent source of carbs. Add some hard-boiled eggs for a protein-packed snack
7. Rice cakes topped with nut butter (almond butter best) & honey or hummus
Healthy whole grains paired with a little protein are the perfect pre-workout combination.
8. Fruit And Greek Yogurt
This is a killer combo. The fruit is full of carbohydrates while Greek yogurt packs a protein-filled punch. Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has almost double the protein, fewer carbs, and half the sodium. Why do they go together? The carbs in the fruit break down quickly and are used as fuel during your workout, while the protein is stored a little longer and is used to prevent muscle damage, so it really is a perfect pairing.
Remember that you need to find what works best for you and there may have to be some trial and error.
I hope this has helped you!