Feel the need to fuel up before hitting the gym? Wondering what you should munch on before your workout? Eating the right snacks before you exercise can fuel your body and help you recover quicker. So even if you’re going from the office to the gym, having a snack in your bag will make sure you are able to workout at maximum capacity.
Snacks to suit your workout
The snacks you choose pre workout could vary based on your goal. The best bet is to sit with one of our fitness professionals to discover what would be best for you. However, what we do know is that fueling your workout is important. Baseline you should choose some sort of low-fat snack that has a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein. A good rule of thumb is to ingest about an hour before you get going at the gym. Here are some examples below:
Our favorite pre-workout snacks:
- An apple or pear with nut butter
- a fruit smoothie made with yogurt
- A granola bar
- Hard boiled egg on avocado toast
- Oatmeal topped with dried fruit
- Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
- whole wheat crackers and cheese
- Rice cakes topped with nut butter
- Peanut butter energy balls
- Cottage cheese with sliced fruit
- a piece of whole wheat toast topped with nut butter and bananas
Worst Pre-Workout Snacks
Avoid these foods prior to a workout. Many of these can can make you feel weighed down and cause gastrointestinal issues during your workout:
- Spicy food
- Fatty foods
- Baked goods
- Fast food
- Fruit juice
- Carbonated beverages
Forget the whole “carbs are the enemy” mantra. Eating the right carbohydrates before a workout will give the energy you need to power through your workout. Carbs are fuel for your muscles and the key to keep your body moving in your fitness endeavors including those rewarding group fitness classes. Try half of a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, whole-grain crackers with 1 ounce of low-fat cheese, or oatmeal with dried cranberries to keep your body moving in those group fitness classes.
In addition to carbs, your workout snack should also consist of lean protein. Protein is necessary for muscle repair and growth and will help your body build muscles back up as they’re broken down during a workout which will help boost your metabolism and trigger fat catabolism .
If your workout will consist of strength training, up the protein a bit. Choose protein sources that are easily digestible such as yogurt with granola and berries, a hard boiled egg and toast, or homemade energy balls. Amino acids are also a great idea to boost that protein availability and utilization during a workout.
Don’t forget to hydrate
Drinking enough water before a workout is just as important as the snacks you consume. You lose fluid when you sweat, so you need to consume enough water to replenish those fluids to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can make you feel fatigued, cramped, and weak.
It’s important to drink water before, during and after your workout. You want to drink water throughout the day, so you aren’t chugging a gallon right before you enter spin class.
No matter what your fitness goals are, make sure you are eating and drinking enough throughout the day. Consuming well-balanced meals with adequate hydration will provide you with enough energy to kick butt in your workouts, and in life.