Finding the right snack before your workout — in the right amount — can be tricky. While a heavy meal will make you feel lethargic, an insufficient snack will not give you the energy you need to get through a tough session. What you decide to eat before a workout directly affects your performance. And in order to make sure there is no breakdown in the middle of the trip, you need to be supplied with power. We spoke with Manasa Rajan, Holistic Health Trainer, Food & R&D @EatFit, to help you decipher the science behind pre-workout nutrition and the best foods to eat before you go to the gym.
The impact of pre-workout foods on your performance
According to Rajan, the timing and purpose of your workout is important when looking at food before your workout. “An exercise in the morning can be a fast, especially if the goal is to lose weight. But if you are exercising in the evening, you should not be hungry. Blood sugar levels and energy are a big consideration here,” he says. she. Generally, when the goal for an individual is performance — rather than weight loss — pre-workout foods become a prerequisite.
What happens when you do not eat before exercise
As a personal member of the club I fainted at the gym, I am not the biggest fan of fasting before a workout, especially if you are going for a cardio-intensive routine. Exercising on an empty stomach can cause your body to deplete some important energy sources, leaving you with less stamina and lower blood sugar levels. This is what causes the feeling of dizziness or nausea. “The purpose of the training is to create optimal performance. “When your body is hungry or does not have enough energy, it will not be able to produce the best output during your workout, so it compromises the whole purpose,” explains Ryan.
Nutrients to be sought in a pre-workout meal
Ryan recommends eating carbohydrates like dates, fruits and oatmeal to nourish energy before a workout. In addition, an important nutrient for a pre-workout snack is protein, which can be found in nuts and seeds. She also suggests adding a little fat and fiber to the mix. “Not much, however. It does not have to be a big meal, as a large digestive load can lift the result of your training,” she says.
Some people swear to shoot coffee before going to the gym. It’s true that caffeine intake increases performance, but it can also have certain side effects. “Choice is the most controversial choice, as it has an impact on heart rate, blood pressure, etc., to which some people may be more sensitive than others,” says Ryan.
The role of hydration before, during and after exercise
Drinking water is not only the key to a good workout, but it is also necessary for healing. “Reduced or compromised hydration, also called hypo hydration, can reduce high-intensity endurance performance, as well as strength and power performance during exercise,” says Ryan. Hydration also affects your energy, movement, mental clarity, alertness, thermos adjustment, reducing the risk of injury. Not only do you need to start your workout in a hydrated state, you also need to hydrate during and after it as you will lose water through sweat.
5 pre-workout foods approved by experts
We asked Ryan to cure a pre-workout diet with 5 healthy and easy-to-prepare foods you can eat before the workout. Here is what she recommends-
- Oatmeal with berries – Cook the oats rolled in water with some frozen or dried berries and nuts. Both of these ingredients give you a fair amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, while also being rich in fiber and protein.
- A banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter – Bananas are probably the most popular pre-workout foods, due to their rich fiber and potassium composition, along with their overall ease of eating. When paired with a spoonful of protein-rich peanut butter, this snack becomes an absolute winner.
- 3-4 dates with nuts- Dates are a high source of energy, as they contain natural sugars like fructose and glucose. Walnuts also help your workout as they are rich in good fats as well as antioxidants.
- Boiled apples with cinnamon and almonds – Although it requires more effort than some other pre-workout foods on this list, it is worth it. Boiled apples cooked in cinnamon boost your metabolism and allow your body to burn fat faster. Almonds, on the other hand, enrich your body with protein, fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals.
- Mixture of raisins with sunflower seeds – Raisins are high in soluble fiber, while sunflower seeds provide you with healthy proteins, antioxidants and fats. You can either buy a pre-mixed package containing these two from the supermarket, or create your own home mix mix.
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