If you are finding that you are struggling to get through your workouts or are feeling overly tired afterward the answer to your problem is likely to be in your diet. While looking at your workout routine and speaking with your gym instructor will help your performance, if you are not eating the right foods before your workout then you will not be able to fulfil your potential.
Why You Should Eat Pre-Workout
As we burn fat by carrying out cardiovascular exercise we need to fuel our bodies so that we have the energy to workout. If you think of our bodies as a car we need to full it with petrol in order for it to get from A to B and without the necessary fuel we will break down. As well as giving us the energy to perform eating before exercise, or using a protein shaker bottle to increase protein levels, helps to prevent muscle catabolism which can prevent muscle growth and development.
Foods to Eat
Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are the three main elements of any nutritious meal but we need to take care of the levels of each of these we eat in a pre-workout meal. High protein meals are beneficial before workouts as they provide your body with the amino acids that it requires to prevent the breakdown of muscle and to aid muscle recovery post workout. When it comes to carbohydrates these are bets eaten 30 minutes before a workout and complex carbohydrates are the best for slow release energy.
Some of the best foods that you can eat before your workout include:
Loaded with digestible carbohydrates and are packed with potassium, bananas help in maintaining nerve and muscle function. The body doesn’t store potassium for very long, so a medium banana before a workout will help keep nutrient levels high.
Chicken, Rice & Veg
A good source of lean protein & complex carbs means this meal can provide amino acids to promote muscle anabolism and a slow releasing source of energy. Consume around 2-3 hours before a workout.
Oats with Protein Powder
Probably the perfect pre-workout meal, oats with protein powder will give you both short and long-term energy to power through your workout. Mix up in your shaker bottle and leave in the fridge overnight to allow the moisture to soak in.
Fruit & Yogurt
Greek yogurt contains substantial protein and carbs, and less sugar than the regular kind. It’s easy on the stomach – ideal before intense activity. Add fruit like berries or apple with some honey for an extra energy kick.
Peanut butter on wholegrain bread
Wholegrain breads are good carbs, having a low GI index, meaning that energy is released slowly into the blood to provide a more reliable source of energy. Spread on some peanut butter and you’ll also be getting a healthy dose of niacin, which helps your body harvest energy from carbohydrates, and is good for your digestive system, cholesterol level and heart health to boot.
Protein shakes, made using a premium shaker bottle, are a great way to consume the amount of protein required to fuel your body before a workout. Protein shakes are perfect if you are in a hurry and do not have time to cook a fresh meal. Rather than reach for unhealthy food, you can simply use your protein shaker to quickly put a nutritional drink together in seconds and you will have all of the essential ingredients in your body in a matter of minutes.
FOODS TO AVOID BEFORE WORKOUT
While you may not be able to get access to some of these foods if you are in a rush to get to the gym, you should try and avoid the following foods that will impair your workout. We mentioned that fats are an essential part of our diet but food containing heavy fats, such as cheese, red meat, pastry, and chocolate should be avoided before exercise. A lot of fats and eating too much food will make you feel sluggish and will ultimately demotivate you as you will be unable to finish your workout.