Have you ever shown up for a workout feeling energetic, but soon into your training session you start to feel tired, sluggish and clumsy? It’s as if you ran out of gas or hit the wall. Well, if you skipped your meal prior to working out, this could be to blame.
Think about your body as if it were a car. You wouldn’t expect to drive 100 miles without gas in the tank, would you? Before a trip, you know you have to fuel up. You also can’t decide to put muddy water or soda in your gas tank. You need good fuel. Your body also needs good fuel to work and perform at its best. If your body doesn’t have the proper fuel prior to exercise, it’s likely you won’t see results as quickly as you’d like and the risk of injury increases.
So, how do you know when and what to eat prior to a training session?
To get the most out of your workout, you’ll want to consume a meal 2-3 hours pre-workout that contains a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates. Thirty minutes prior to physical activity, make sure to stick with light meals and foods which contain simple carbohydrates and some protein. What are the best foods to consume prior to a training session?
The top five best foods to fuel your workout:
Bananas are an excellent source of natural sugars, simple carbohydrates, and potassium. Bananas help boost glycogen stores and increase blood sugar levels. This food is best 30-60 minutes prior to a workout as the potassium in a banana can only be stored for a short period of time.
- Chicken, rice, and veggies.
By consuming this meal 2-3 hours before a workout, your body can get a good amount of lean protein and complex carbohydrates. This meal can help with muscle growth and is a good source of slow-releasing energy.
- Greek yogurt and dried fruit.
Dried fruit is an excellent source of simple sugar. While it’s not typically great for your diet, small measurable amounts prior to a workout can help increase energy. Mixing the dried fruit with Greek yogurt provides your body with some added protein. Plan to consume this meal about 1-1.5 hours prior to physical activity.
- Oatmeal and protein powder.
Oatmeal is a great source of complex carbohydrates which provide slow-releasing energy throughout your workout. Add protein powder for added amino acids. This should be consumed 2 hours before exercise.
- Fruit smoothies.
Fruit smoothies are best to consume prior to a workout because they provide your body with a good amount of fast-acting glucose. Fruit smoothies supply your body with many macronutrients, but they can be full of sugars and high in calories. Stick to consuming before physical activity!
Training takes time, effort and discipline if you want to see results. Training also takes fuel…good fuel. Keep these foods in your home and plan ahead so that you can fuel your body properly before each and every training session and watch how long that energy lasts.