What to Eat Before a Workout

If you’re looking for an edge in your workout, what you eat before you hit the gym can make all the difference. The right foods will give you energy and help your muscles recover, while the wrong ones can leave you feeling sluggish and unable to perform at your best.

Eating helps to fuel the body and gives you the energy you need to push yourself during a workout. Without food, your body will not have the same level of energy and you may find yourself feeling fatigued more quickly.

How Can Food Influence Your Workout?

The human body is the vehicle that carries us through life. It requires fuel to function at its best when working out. That means drinking the correct fluids and eating the right foods in the proper amount at the correct times.

The muscles engaged during a workout rely on the nutrition they receive through diet. Why? Because if you don’t eat enough protein or if you’re not taking in enough carbohydrates, your body won’t have enough energy to keep going.

You will feel drained and weak, making it difficult to perform well. Your workouts may be less intense than usual because of your lack of energy. Without the proper nutrients, your workouts could even stop altogether!

That said, it’s critical to find the right balance of macronutrients: proteins, carbs, and fats. Eating too many carbs can cause fatigue, but too few can lead to muscle loss over time. On the other hand, protein helps build muscle mass while repairing any damage from exercise-induced stress (which means more protein = more muscle).

Fat helps maintain muscle tone and produces testosterone and other hormones essential for optimal performance. Thus, if you want to train harder and longer, don’t skimp on these essential macronutrients. Instead, consider adding organic supplement choices if you can’t consume all three macronutrients in their natural form.

Best Pre-Workout Meals On The Go

Now that we know how food can influence your workout let’s discuss the importance of eating before exercising. Eating some carbs and protein 30-60 minutes before exercising is best. Before exercising, you should consume around 20 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein per hour.

However, it is important not to overeat because this will make you feel sluggish during your workout. There’s a fine line between what will give you an energy boost and what will leave you feeling drained.

If you’re always on the go and don’t have time for breakfast, or if you don’t want to spend any extra time preparing food in the morning, the following are perfect pre-workout snacks:

Oats

Carbohydrates supply or furnish the body with energy for sustained physical activity. And oats are an excellent source of carbohydrates. They’re easy to prepare and inexpensive! That’s not all. Oats are full of essential minerals and vitamins that boost the energy levels for an intense workout.

Pair one cup of cooked oatmeal with 1/2 cup skim milk and a sliced banana for a quick snack that is high in protein and low in sugar. Then, add some peanut butter or almond butter to increase the protein content even more!

Bananas

Another popular pre-workout snack is bananas. They’re delicious and versatile and pack enough nutrients to keep you energized throughout your workout. Just be sure to eat them early enough, so they have time to digest. Eating them closer to when you work out may cause stomach discomfort.

Peanut Butter And Toast

Have a slice of toasted bread with a spoonful of peanut butter for a perfect combination of both protein and carbs before you hit the gym. The carbs will give you the energy you need, while the protein will repair muscles after a challenging workout. Add some honey to sweeten up your toast if desired!

Trail Mix

Trail mix gives you a surge of energy that’s good on the stomach—eating it before a workout will help you sustain energy levels and provide you with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, which aids in muscle recovery.

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are good carbs ideal for giving you the energy needed to get through a challenging workout. They also have lots of sugar but are still a healthy choice if eaten sparingly.

Timing is Key for Pre-Workout Meal

Of course, you can’t just eat any pre-workout meal before your workout. You must ensure it’s the right time for your body to digest the food and get all its nutrients from it. For example:

  • If the workout is in 30 minutes: Oats, bananas, and trail mix are good choices because they’re easy to digest and give your muscles energy quickly.
  • If the workout is in 1 hour: Since you have enough time to digest and absorb food, toast with peanut butter and dried fruits, make great choices. They are also high in protein, which will help build and repair muscle tissue.
  • If the workout is in 2 hours or more: Try to eat a complete meal that contains both carbs and protein, like a sandwich with turkey and tomato or a salad with grilled chicken breast.

What Should You Not Eat Before A Workout?

When working out, food is fuel. However, it’s not an excuse to eat whatever you want before going for a run or lifting weights. The body needs the proper nutrients before any physical activity to perform at its best. That said, some foods should be avoided before exercising.

The following are examples of what not to eat before a workout:

  • fizzy drinks
  • spicy foods
  • cruciferous vegetables like broccoli
  • refined sugar
  • baked goods
  • kale
  • alcohol
  • beans
  • junk food

Conclusion

Eating before you workout is an integral part of your health and fitness. It helps to have some fuel on hand when you’re about to start working out so that you don’t feel tired or hungry.

There are many different kinds of food that you can eat as a pre-workout meal, including granola bars, fruit, nuts, rice cakes, oatmeal, cereal bars, and the like. Of course, the best thing for each person will depend on their tastes and how many calories or carbs they need.

Ask a professional – Fit Factory Nutrition Coach

At Fit Factory Fitness, they have fitness coaches and trainers who can help you figure out what is best for your body and goals. They also offer group fitness classes that will give you access to different workouts in one class. The next time you need advice on what to eat before a workout, stop by Fit Factory!