Ever wonder if you’re truly maximizing your workout? Many people don’t realize it, but what you take into your body before and after your workout are almost just important as the workout itself. Food = fuel for your body; it’s important that you use the proper fuel in order to truly maximize your outcomes. Just like putting the incorrect fuel in your vehicle can be damaging so to can incorrectly fueling your workout actually bring you down from where you have the potential to be. Keep reading below to find out what the best fuel is for your body and which foods you need to be eating before your next workout.
When it comes to pre-workout loading, carbs are actually your BFF. Carbs = energy. I always try to consume a mixed variety of simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs are broken down easily and readily absorbed thereby providing you with a great energy boost right out of the gates (simple carbs are like paper in a fire – go up quickly and burn hot but not very long). Complex carbs take a little longer to be metabolized and therefore their energy kicks on a little later in the workout (complex carbs are like wood on a fire – slow and steadily consistent for a lot longer). The result is a full 30-60-90 minutes of energy to keep you going strong!
So here’s your menu! Here are my “Top-Ten Best Foods To Eat Before Your Workout”!! (In no particular order)
- Wheat Toast – Simple yet incredibly effective; this is my go-to on my way out the door to the gym!
- Greek Yogurt – Great source of protein and carbs without as much sugar as regular yogurt.
- Trail Mix – The higher in dried fruit content the better – avoid chocolate (sugar) and too many nuts if possible (high fat and sluggishness)!
- Oatmeal – Great complex carb that sticks with you and gives you energy throughout your workout! Throw your favorite fruit on there to make it delicious and add an energy boost!
- Apples – The natural sugars that make fruit sweet is also used as an immediate energy source to make sure you hit the ground running!
- Whole wheat bagel (or bread) with jam (or honey) – Easily digestable, whole grain (carb-a-licious), and a touch of flavor from the honey/jam provides a great combination of simple and complex carbs. Great workout fuel!
- Bananas – Nature’s “power bar” – loaded with carbs and potassium to increase energy levels and maximize muscle function.
- Wheat bread with cheese or an egg – One of my favorite pre-workout snacks! A slice of whole-wheat bread with some low-fat cheese provides a great mix of protein and complex carbs. If you’ve got a little more time throw some scrambled egg whites on top! If you’re an afternoon workout person, substitute the egg whites for some sliced turkey for your protein!
- Fruit Smoothie – Your favorite fruit, Greek yogurt, and a little juice/water goes a long way (try to avoid adding milk to avoid mucous buildup – nobody wants that while working out)! Great source of natural energy to hit it hard!
- Chicken and brown rice – Another one of my favorites for the afternoon/evening workout. Great mix of carbs from the rice (brown is more-loaded than white) with protein from the chicken.
Looking for more great exercise tips and advice? Here are a few of my favorites:
As always, I love to hear from Tone and Tighten’s readers! If you found this post helpful leave me comment below!
Make it happen,
By Jared Beckstrand
Have a great day!