The food choices you make before starting your workout session play a major role in your ability to perform at your best when you exercise, and help combat sluggishness and fatigue. While slow-digesting carbohydrates will provide an instant energy boost for your workouts, a good protein source will give you the endurance that intense exercise often demands. Integrating these snacks into your routine will not only help while you’re training, but will also help prevent muscle breakdown and improve repair and recovery after your workout.
Bananas- This favourite fruit is rich in fast-acting carbohydrates and packed with potassium, which not only helps maintain proper nerve and muscle function, but also serves as a primary source of energy for your body. A banana pre-workout will also help raise your glycogen stores and increase blood sugar levels, giving you that extra energy boost for a good workout.
Coffee- Consuming a bit of caffeine in any form can be a great addition to your pre-workout ritual. It helps accelerate fat burn and stimulates energy production and endurance, enabling you to extend your workout. Coffee also contains feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine, which can enhance your mood and make you upbeat for your workout, no matter how early in the morning it is!
Turkey- Lean meats like turkey are an ideal choice for a pre-workout meal, as it contains a lot of protein that gives you an extra edge in your workout sessions. It will boost your energy and improve your strength. Being low in sodium and saturated fat, turkey is also relatively easy to digest, another factor that makes it a great pre-workout choice.
Cottage cheese- Cottage cheese is a simple, protein-packed snack option with the right balance of carbohydrates and fats to satisfy your hunger while fuelling your workouts. Great at assisting muscle recovery, this easily available snack also helps rebuild depleted glutamine, which is necessary to your metabolism. A great morning option, this easily digestible snack can be eaten before an evening workout snack too.
Eggs- A great source of protein and low glycaemic carbohydrate content, eggs are an ideal snack or meal choice. Boiled, scrambled, or as part of a vegetable-loaded omelette, there is really no wrong way to consume this great source of muscle-building protein. Eggs also help maintain your insulin level, and help promote muscle growth and repair.
Oats- Containing complex carbohydrates, oats area winning choice as a pre-workout meal. Not only do they satiate hunger, but they also provide long-term endurance power for high-intensity workouts. Loaded with fibre, oats release carbohydrates gradually, ensuring that your blood sugar levels are up while maintaining a constant energy supply for hours.
Dates- Extremely high in glucose, dates work immediately to provide the necessary energy required for a workout. Easy to digest, your body starts utilising the sugar quickly, without having to break it down beforehand. The fibre in dates is a bonus, as it helps provide a constant flow of energy while also flushing out the excess salt in your body while you sweat.
Sweet potatoes- A great option for vegans and meat eaters alike, this little gem is a great source of workout energy. Rich in carbohydrates, sweet potatoes keep your glycogen levels where they should be, ensuring that there is no drop in energy during your high intensity workout. With an increase in serotonin and slow-release of insulin, you won’t go wrong with this low fat snack.
So whether you’re getting ready to hit the gym, court or yoga studio, check out some of these healthy, pre-exercise options. They’ll boost your energy and metabolism, making your workout an absolute breeze!