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All of us want to benefit the most from our workout routine – run faster, jump higher, train harder, spin faster and dance crazily. Even though we prepare our minds for a challenging task every day what is it that holds us back to achieve our targets? But, do we fuel our engine properly to run that quickly and reach the target line? No. We overlook our body’s needs and endure on the path of accomplishing our goals. However, we can help you learn how to maximize your efforts and gain the most while doing your weight training. And also introduce you to the pre-workout meals.
Nutrition plays an important role whether you want a regimen for overall fitness or build a more muscular body shape. Your body is just like an intricate finely crafted organic machine that requires food as fuel to maintain your health. The type of snacks you choose before you hit the gym should give you enough energy for the workout but not fat that adds on to your belly. Pre-workout snacks should be light, burn excess fat and build muscle. For your pre-workout meals, you must focus on foods that have a correct balance of carbohydrates and proteins with little healthy fats.
Before we look at what we should include in our pre-workout meals, let’s list down some foods that you must avoid. Foods that take longer to digest should be kept for post-workout meals or best consumed 2-3 hours before you exercise routine. These foods include:
Whole Grain Bread
The whole grain cereals or bread should be kept as a mealtime choice. This bread contains complex carbs and proteins that take longer for your body to digest. It takes up most of the energy that you would have used to exercise.
Seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids which should be combined with macronutrients like carbs and protein to avoid an upset stomach. They must be definitely avoided as pre-workout meals.
These vegetables – cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, broccoli, etc. – contain lots of hard to digest fiber and sulfur.
Greens make a perfect meal post your workout. So refrain from including a lot of leafy veggies in your pre-workout meals.
Now we shall list down some scrumptious meals and snacks for your pre-workout needs. You may tailor the combinations to cater to your needs and taste buds.
Here’s What You Should Eat Before Hitting The Gym
1. Berries And Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a great idea for those who love to tint at the gym early in the morning. Including steel-cut oatmeal in your diet will retain more essential nutrients. Complex carbohydrates and fiber-rich oatmeal will keep you sated for a long time after breakfast. Combining berries with oats will provide support to your body during daily workout routines.
Indulge in lip-smacking whole fruit smoothies before your workout schedule. Fruits are abundant in simple sugars and vitamins that give you a boost of energy to accomplish your fitness goals. The simple sugars breakdown into energy fast enough to take you through high-intensity workouts.
Bananas are an excellent source of simple carbs, natural sugars, and potassium. These energy sources break down quickly and boost your glycogen stores to make you fit for your training session. One must eat a banana before 30 minutes or 1 hour of the workout. You can combine banana with peanut or other nut butter or eat them alone. They can also be added to your smoothie or protein powder.
4. Yummy Greek Yogurt
Many experts say using skimmed milk yogurt is beneficial but a few nutritionists do recommend whole milk yogurt. Why? Because it tastes a lot better and the little fat will aid absorption of calcium into the body. Customize your cup with a variety of berries, fruits, granola and more.
The berries and granola in the yogurt delight will provide quick-digesting fuel for your workout and the Greek yogurt acts as a good source of protein to prevent muscle breakdown during the high-intensity training. Try to add carb sources that are naturally sweet like vanilla, coconut oil, dried prunes or figs. This will help you keep sugar levels minimum. Make sure you opt for plain yogurt rather than fruit flavors.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Isn’t this saying completely true? Apples are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, fiber, and phytonutrients that reduce the risk of developing various health problems and diseases. A medium sized apple contains less than 100 calories which is why it is a good idea to eat apple pre-workout.
Enjoy a whole apple or create a variety of snacks using this yummylicious delight. It can be consumed with your delicious protein shake too. Spread some nut butter on apple slices and enjoy the delicacies as your pre-workout meals to curb your cravings.
6. Delectable Hummus
Hummus is a super healthy Lebanese food made up of chickpeas – the powerhouse of protein. They contain a boost of vitamins also. Instead of having a handful chickpeas raw or boiled, try making tasty hummus with multi-grain bread before your workout. This is a surefire way to ensure you’re stocking up on necessary carbs and protein. You can choose to season the hummus with a very little of raw seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds or pumpkin seeds to add some healthy fats.
7. Energy/Granola Bars
Energy bars are packed with the right combinations of cabs, nut proteins, fiber, and fat. Eating a bar before you exercise will give you enough reserves of energy you need during the workout.
8. Pumpkin, Quinoa And Grilled Chicken
Are you going for fast cardio training or plan building muscle mass? If yes, then do prepare this salad as pre-workout meals. This looks like an exhaustive meal to many but there is a reason most athletes chow these before the hit the gym.
The pumpkin provides simple carbohydrates that quickly give you required energy for the strenuous workout. Quinoa and chicken adds protein to your snack. This is a great balance of nutrient you would require. Why don’t you too give it a try?
Remember to take your pre-workout meals 30-90 minutes before you hit the ground. Else you will easily feel bloated.
Indulge in munching on these healthy meals before your workout routine.
Share these yummy meal ideas with your friends and do comment about your favorite pre-workout meals below.
Eat healthily!! Stay in shape!!
Frequently Askes Question
Eating protein helps to improve muscle protein synthesis, prevent muscle damage and promote recovery. Good hydration is also linked to improved performance. Pre-workout meals can be taken from three hours to 30 minutes before a workout.
Examples of pre-training – foods that can be prepared 3 to 4 hours before exercise: a baked potato with baked beans, cottage cheese, tuna or other topping. Rice with vegetables and lean meat; chicken or fish ideally. Pasta and sauce; Pasta cooking is ideal, but with whole wheat pasta and a low-fat sauce.
Exercising on an empty stomach is called fasting cardio. The theory is that your body feeds on fat and carbohydrates stored for more energy, instead of the foods you have recently eaten, resulting in greater fat loss….. Fasting can also cause your body to use protein as fuel.
Eating protein before exercise can stimulate muscle growth
There is a healthy and active debate on all sides about how much protein you really need to eat to get the most out of your strength and muscles, but whatever amount you choose, including protein in your pre-workout meal, it seems like a good idea.
Coffee has a ton of fat burning properties – if you leave the additives in excess. When consumed before exercise, it can result in the use of fat cells as an energy source, as opposed to glycogen. It will also increase your metabolism, which will help you burn more calories throughout the day.
She is a pharmacist by education and working in the field of medical content development for more than 9 years. She has an excellent hold on medical content research and development and has produced valuable data for various pharmaceutical companies.