We all want to get the best out of our fitness and workout sessions. But the one thing we overlook while spending hours vigorously exercising is the food we intake. We often forget that what we eat has a direct effect on our bodies. Food acts as the fuel that gives our body the required energy it needs during a workout. Thus, you need to eat nutritionally rich food that helps boost your workout session while avoiding food items that provide zero nutritious value.
Best Pre-Workout Foods to Eat
1. Oats: They are one of the ideal ways to start your day. Wholegrain oatmeal has many carbohydrates that release themselves gradually after some time, helping you maintain your energy levels for a more extended period. With the help of vitamin B, they convert carbohydrates into energy, thus increasing your stamina. Adding in some fresh fruits like berries would make the whole meal more delicious and nutritious.
2. Boiled eggs: Eggs are an excellent pre and post-workout food packed with vitamins & proteins. Eat soft-boiled eggs an hour before the workout session as they are easy to digest and aids in muscle recovery and growth.
3. Greek yogurt: Compared to standard yogurt, Greek yogurt is packed with more proteins making them an energy-boosting pre-workout food item. Adding chia seeds will act as a fuel and help you burn extra carbs as they contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Yogurt smoothies are also easy to digest and helps you stay hydrated during your workout session.
4. Banana: An excellent workout snack, bananas are packed with potassium and antioxidants that support nerve & muscle function and prevents muscle cramps. They also have simple carbs that are easy to digest and acts as fuel.
5. Dried fruits and trail mix: An easy and ready-to-go pre-workout snack, dry fruits are handy and help you gain energy almost instantly. Include almonds, which are easy to digest and have carbohydrates & protein in them. On the other hand, Nuts contain high levels of fat content, proteins, and healthy calories beneficial when you are trying to increase your muscle mass.
Worst Pre-workout Foods to Eat
1. Granola and protein bars: The protein and granola bars you get from the market consist of unhealthy amounts of sugar, making you sluggish during your workout session. These bars also take hours to digest. So make sure to check the labels before you purchase them, or best yet, avoid them altogether and instead opt for a bowl of fresh fruits for your pre-work snack.
2. High fat and fast foods: Fats are usually good for your body, but fats obtained from red meats such as pork and beef can make your body work harder to convert the fat into energy, making you tired more easily. Likewise, fast foods don’t provide you with many nutrients and may make you feel uneasy, thereby keeping you away from getting the most from your workout.
3. Energy drinks and sodas: Even though energy drinks may seem like a go-to pre-workout drink as they claim to provide you with a lot of energy, this is far from true. Energy drinks can make you feel restless during your workout session and increase your heart rate & blood pressure. On the other hand, Sodas have a high amount of sugar and caffeine in them that will provide you with a quick rush and then leave you sluggish. They provide zero nutritional value and make you feel dehydrated.
4. High Fibre vegetables: Even though vegetables are very nutritious, avoid having high fiber vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower before your workout as they are hard to digest. Fiber is necessary for your body, but consuming too much can upset your stomach.
5. Smoothies: Like energy drinks and sodas, store-bought smoothies should be avoided before the workout session. They contain a lot of sugar and provide only a burst of energy that fizzles out quickly and contain calories & extra fat.
The above was just a glimpse of the pre-workout foods you should eat and avoid during your fitness regime. Staying hydrated during the workout is also equally important. Water is one of the critical elements that can keep you going through different exercises and help you replete the lost fluids. So drink at least 2-3 ounces of water every 15 minutes. For more information on pre and post-workout nutrition, click here!