Finding the right fuel for your workout is just as important as the workout you will do for the day! You are going to want to find a snack that is filling, will provide you with energy, as well as keep you full until you are done with your workout. Eating the right Pre-Workout snack will help you maximize your energy during your workout as well as providing enough nutrients for your body to start metabolizing to help you start to burning those unwanted calories. It is important to get the right mixture of nutrients to help prevent any stomach pains you may have before or during your workout.
The key is to get some good carbs pre-workout because the carbs will provide you with the fuel you need to power through your workout. You will also want a lean protein so that it will allow you to build muscle. It is suggested to take your pre-workout meal about 30 minutes before you workout (or about an hour) and it is also suggested to have your post-workout meal no more than 30 minutes AFTER you workout. You want to have a well-balanced meal right after you workout to allow your body to recover from all of the hard work you just did in the gym. It is also suggested to stay away from spicy foods and foods with too much fat in them before your workout.
Despite all of these “Low Carb” diets you hear about you actually need carbs to help you fuel your body. The closer you get to your workout you want to have MORE carbs and LESS protein. Having too much protein or hard digesting carbs can cause indigestion or other stomach issues during your workout.
Some Pre-Workout Suggestions:
- 1/2 banana and 1/2 cup of oatmeal (you can have 1 cup of melon or other type of fruit with your oatmeal)
- 1/2 cup oatmeal and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (or almond butter)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (try to get the plain yogurt and add your own fruit or tablespoon of honey to add sweetness)
- 1 piece of whole wheat bread or English muffin slice with 2 tablespoons of hummus
- 1 piece of whole wheat toast and 24 almonds (usually 24 almonds is one serving size)
- small protein shake (you can check out THIS WEBSITE for some great protein shake recipes)
- 1 cup of yogurt and 24 almonds
- 1 small apple (or another small piece of fruit) and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- Low-fat string cheese and whole wheat crackers
- 1 slice of a whole wheat bagel (that is ONLY 1/2 of the bagel NOT the whole thing) and 1/2 cup of fat-free cottage cheese
- Energy Bar (WARNING: Not all energy bars are good to have! Some are loaded with sugar and more carbs than you need! Be sure to look at the carb content and how much protein they have. Try to get a bar with no more than 40 gramsof carbs and the MORE protein the bar has the better!)
- 1 serving of tuna and 1 slice of whole wheat toast
Some Post-Workout Suggestions:
- Protein shake (Check out THIS RECIPE for recipes that are HIGH in protein)
- 1 cup of cottage cheese and 1 cup of fruit
- grilled chicken and 1/2 cup of brown rice (or quinoa)
- small omelette (you can add veggies and even make an egg white omelette)
- 1 piece of toast and 4 egg whites
Regardless you should try to consume enough water before, during, and after your workout! The suggested amount of water that each person should have varies, but as a general rule it is suggested that each person get at least for men 13 cups and for women 9 cups of water per day (as supported by Mayo Clinic) . This is the LEAST amount of water you should drink so drinking more than that is highly encouraged.
The other important meals you have to be careful of are the other meals that you consume during the day. Stick with a healthy well-balanced meal. Stick to low fats and non-processed foods. The rule to follow is stay at the perimeter of the store when you go grocery shopping. The perimeter is the best place to find the most natural, fresh, and healthy food at the grocery store.
You have to be consistent with your healthy eating or you will not see the results that you want. You can NOT have a horrible diet and see the results of all of your hard work in the gym. Your body needs those fresh, clean, and non processed foods to fuel it through those hard workouts. Consistency is the key to your success!