It’s a good idea to eat before you go for a workout, but eating too much or eating the wrong things can actually lead to more cramping and pain than eating nothing at all. Some people struggle to keep certain foods down or exercise with food in their stomach. So what exactly should you be eating before a workout?
In the end it all depends on your personal taste and dietary needs, but here are some pre-workout meals with the optimum mix of nutrients for your workout:
Yogurt is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, full of calcium, protein and healthy bacteria that helps your digestive system stay healthy. Eat half a cup with some fresh fruit or trail mix mixed in for extra flavour.
Peanut butter banana smoothie
Unlike fruit juice, smoothies actually retain most or all of the fiber from the original fruit and are incredibly healthy, especially if you make them with Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt. Combine peanut butter and bananas for an impressive protein boost that will get you through even the most arduous workout without weighing you down.
All the sugar added to those instant oatmeal packets has given oatmeal a bad rep but it’s actually one of the healthiest whole grains out there—if you stick with oatmeal made from raw oats. Add some fresh fruit and a dash of cinnamon to give it a delicious nutrient boost.
You’ll want to stick with a fairly small piece unless there’s at least an hour before your workout, but a small piece of salmon will give you a big enough protein boost to get you through most workouts.
If you have a decent chunk of space between your meal and your workout you can make yourself an omelette packed with colourful peppers, onions and mushrooms. The eggs will give you all the protein you need and the vegetables provide a nutrient boost to optimize muscle performance.
Apple wedges with almond butter
Did you know that almonds are actually far more nutritious than peanuts? Between the apple and the almonds this is one of the healthiest snacks you can eat at any time of day and one of the best to have before a workout.
Depending on the specific nuts and seeds used, trail mix can be the healthiest pre-workout snack out there. Nuts and seeds will provide all the protein you need while fruit provides both nutrients and natural sugars to give you an initial energy spike.
Choosing a pre-workout meal doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many delicious foods with the perfect nutritional combination to get you through even the most intense workouts. Just make sure you control your portion sizes and eat a little in advance of the workout or you’ll end up eating bloated even if you’ve only been snacking on trail mix.