Without proper nutrition, the time you spend working out is a waste. Going beyond eating healthier is the key to unlocking the full potential of exercising. This means being conscious about what you eat before and after working out to achieve the best results. People get half of this right- a protein shake or a protein filled meal is perfect for after a workout. But what most people forget is the pre-workout meal. This sets you up for a mediocre workout and that post-workout meal is somewhat going to waste. Here are some pre-workout snack ideas to help you work out harder, burn more fat, and build more muscle.
There’s no question that oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Not only is it one of the best breakfast foods, it’s one of the best pre-workout snacks you can eat. Its high fiber content combined with complex carbs will provide you with quick, long-lasting energy for your workout.
Give yourself at least thirty minutes to digest your oatmeal before working out.
Add some seeds, nuts, and fruit to give yourself some extra energy and nutrition for your workouts.
2. Apples and Bananas
An apple or banana before a workout is a perfect snack to energize you quickly. Apples have slightly less carbs than bananas but they offer 1.5g more fiber. Bananas, however, have a lot of potassium so they are great for muscle function and preventing cramps. You can’t go wrong with either.
It doesn’t matter when you eat them, but since they are both digested quickly you can eat a banana or apple right before your workout and feel the benefits.
Fruits in general are a great snack to have before exercising. They provide a quick source of carbs and nutrients so think twice before exercising on an empty stomach. Even a couple orange slices or a handful of blueberries can go a long way.
You can never go wrong with eggs. They are by far the best source of protein you can get. A couple of egg whites and a banana is a great pre-workout mini-meal.
Don’t be afraid to include a yolk when eating eggs. It’s a total myth that yolks are terrible for your health. They are actually packed with healthy cholesterol called HDL that fights bad cholesterol. Yolks also contain If you are focused on weight loss, then skipping the yolk is probably the best idea.
Eggs are great because there are so many ways to eat them. If you have to choose one, omelets should be the go-to because you can throw in vegetables and turn your meal into a nutrient powerhouse.
Since eggs digest well, give yourself at least thirty minutes to digest your snack.
A great source of all the macronutrients, cereal can equip you with long-lasting energy for your workouts. Milk is digested slowly so you will feel fuller longer while still getting the nutritional benefits.
You should choose your cereal depending on your goals. If your goal is weight loss, then opt for less-sugary, high fiber cereals. Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruit Loops may taste good but they are filled with sugar. Also be aware of the milk you are using. Opt for low-fat milk or milk alternatives like almond milk and oat milk.
Calories can add up quickly if you don’t choose the right cereal and milk. Cereal can be filling, so give yourself 45 minutes to an hour to digest.
Yogurt is a fantastic pre-workout snack. Since it’s high in protein and fiber while providing healthy fats, yogurt can provide a big energy boost in the gym. Like milk, it is digested easily but slowly.
On the go, yogurt is a great option as a snack. One cup of yogurt has 8.5 grams of protein so its perfect when your body is craving protein. It’s also packed with calcium, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and phosphorus.
Pair it with some fruit and you have the ultimate pre-workout snack. Yogurt can be eaten thirty minutes before your workout. Be careful with yogurt as some brands can be loaded with sugar.
6. Trail Mix
Nuts and seeds are great sources of protein, fat, and vitamins. What sets nuts apart from the other snacks in this list is that nuts are packed with Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These essential fats provide a multitude of health benefits. Nuts are also high in HDL, the healthy cholesterol that is also found in egg yolks.
The great thing about trail mix is that it contains nuts and sources of carbohydrates. These carbs are perfect for providing energy in the gym.
The only bad thing about trail mix is the nuts in general. An ounce of nuts can be up to 200 calories which is a lot since an ounce isn’t much at all. However, if you take this into account and control the portions, trail mix can become your new best friend.
Trail mix is truly a snack, so you can eat trail mix and head straight to the gym right after.
Having a good pre-workout snack or meal will prime your body for exercise. Your body will actually burn more fat and build more muscle with a small snack. You will also feel a big energy boost during your workout, which can help you workout longer and more intensely. Instead of exercising on an empty stomach, consider one of the snacks mentioned above.
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