What to eat before a workout
As with anything, preparation is the key to success. In this case, success means a good post workout feeling and maybe a stride towards achieving your long term goal. Could be running a thanksgiving 5k or could be gaining muscle mass. In order to achieve this good feeling, we prepare in some sorts.
So how do you prepare for a workout. Legendary cross-fitter and 5 time fittest man of the year Mat Fraser once told on Joe Rogan’s podcast, the preparation for your next workout begins right after the end of the current workout. We can all relate to his statement but despite trying our best to be prepared, most of the times we end of searching or looking for a quick bite/snacks right before our workouts. So here are a few things consider before choosing what to eat right before you workout.
Do not be scared of carbs.
Carbohydrates provide energy to function as well as perform rigorous workouts. Our muscles use glycogen from carbs to provide fuel.
Protein and/or fat heavy food might not be the best.
Protein and fats take longer time to digest, hence making protein/fat heavy food not the most suitable right before your workout.
The earlier you eat the better
The earlier you eat the better.
It is ideal to consume full meal 2-3 hours before a workout. If you plan on eating 40-60 minutes before your workout, make sure the food is high in carbs and decent in protein so it can be easily digested.
Since all of us are different and our bodies are different, the way food reacts to each individual is different. Hence experimenting a few times with different snacks/food items may be the perfect way to unlock your go-to pre workout food.
Now that you have an idea of how to approach, let us look at a few items to eat.
There are a lot of debates surrounding the use of coffee. To me, it’s a no brainer. Coffee, 30-60 minutes before my workout gives me that kicks and burst it need because of the caffeine in it. Some people do pre-workouts, which might not be sustainable for both body and long term health.
Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich
One of my go-to pre workout snack is the good ole PBJ. Can’t go south with this. Tastes great, has a lot of carbs and protein, and most importantly is good to the stomach.
If you have not eaten for more than 7-8 hours, fruit might not be the best idea. However, if you have, fruits will be great as it has a lot of natural sugar and will provide that kick you might need. Banana is a popular pre workout fuel as it has a lot of potassium. One fruit I highly recommend is cherry because it consists of anti oxidants as well as the tart in it helps fight cramps.
Oatmeal with chia seeds, hemps seeds, almonds in it is one of the best pre workout fuel. It has the right balance when it come to macros.
As smoothies are easily digestible and taste good, they can be used as pre workout snack.
Although it might sound unhealthy, cookies taken in a small portion could be helpful for a great workout. As mentioned above, experimenting with it could be a great solution.
It is beneficial to consume snacks an hour or so before your workout.
Portion should be simple and easy.
They need to be easily digestible.