Proper nutrition is essential for the body to complete daily tasks. When it comes to exercise, nutrition is even more important because we are asking our bodies to go above and beyond its typical workload. Planning a meal before a workout might feel like a confusing task. Do you find you are always asking yourself… ‘What should I eat before my workout?’ This is a great question, and not always an easy one to answer. Read on to find out how to decide what the best pre workout meal for you should be. The primary source of fuel for the body during exercise is carbohydrates. What type you choose to eat before a workout, will be influenced by the moment of the day you choose to exercise. Is it in the morning? Will it be during your lunch break? Or maybe later in the evening after work? Here are the details:
If you workout in the morning you will need to have breakfast before hand. This can be easier said than done for many people. Exercising immediately after eating can cause many people stomach upset if there is not enough time allowed for digestion. It will be important to allow yourself enough time to prepare and eat a fuelling breakfast before hitting the gym. So what should you do? You will likely have a smaller portion than a typical breakfast meal when eating before a workout. To save time choose a breakfast that can be prepared the night before. Overnight Banana and Cinnamon Oats is a perfect pre workout meal for a morning workout! Click here for the recipe! If you do not have enough time to eat and digest a complex carbohydrate such as oatmeal (you should give yourself about 30 minutes between breakfast and your workout) choose foods that are quick digesting and provide an almost immediate source of carbohydrates for energy. This can be 1 slice of whole grain toast with 1 hard boiled egg with 1 small fruit or ½ cup yogurt with ½ cup mixed berries and a cup of tea.
Lunch Time Workout
If you utilize your lunch break for a workout, having a mid morning snack is how you can be sure you have the energy you need for your workout. You will want to choose foods that are low fibre and quick digesting. These include carbohydrate rich foods such as yogurt, fruit and crackers. An apple with natural nut butter is a perfect combination of quick digesting carbohydrates for energy and protein to build muscle.
If you prefer exercising in the evening, think of your food and drink choices throughout the day as a way to fuel and hydrate your body for a great workout. We have heard it time and time again, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s true! Ensuring you have had a fuelling breakfast as well as a balanced lunch will get you the best out of your training session. About an hour before your evening workout enjoy a pre-workout snack like a fresh fruit cup, yogurt and granola (click here for my personal granola recipe!) or cottage cheese and berries.
Until next time,
In Good HEALth, Chinwe Asagwara