To eat or not to eat before the gym, that is the question. Eating too much too close to working out could end badly, but not eating might leave you dizzy, sapped of energy and hitting “the wall” half-way into your workout! The best solution is a happy medium. If you’re feeling hungry, aim to have a small snack about 30-60 minutes before your training session. If you’re going to eat before you work, pick food that is going to work with you and for you.
Here are some general rules of thumb:
Now is not the time for fiber
If you know it gives you tummy trouble, best to avoid it pre-workout. All that fiber can get things moving in your system, which could prevent you from moving freely or cause you gas pain. No one wants a mid-workout bathroom break!
It’s just a snack
Keep it around 150-200 calories, more than that and you risk cramping or feeling sluggish, neither of which will make you feel like working out.
Go for a protein/carb combo
Carbs give your body fuel to burn. Avoid anything with too much fat because fat will take longer for your body to digest, and keep you from being able to perform at your best.
Bars can be a great, quick pick me up before a workout, but not all bars are created equal! Some can have up to 250 calories and others have as much sugar as a candy bar! Check your labels. If you need a good brand suggestion or you want to try something different, we’ve got Quest bars for sale in the office.
Need some fresh ideas? Here are some great pre-workout snack recipes that have a good balance of carbs, fats and proteins that will satisfy your hunger and keep your energy high as you tear it up at the gym!
The Shake – Cool and refreshing, the shake is an endlessly variable and easy option. Here are a few tasty options:
- PROTEIN CREAMCICLE : Blend 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup orange juice, and 1 cup ice.
- FRUITY TOOTIE: Blend 1 scoop of your favorite whey protein flavor with ½ cup ice, and 1 cup frozen berries.
- JAVA DELIGHT: Blend 1 cup iced coffee (keep the ice) with 1 scoop chocolate whey protein.
Other quick ideas:
- ½ cup cottage cheese with ½ cup fresh pineapple, berries or melon
- An ounce of cheese with one serving of crackers
- Half a banana with half a cup of greek yogurt
- Small apple, ½ oz pistachios and 1 oz low fat string cheese
- 1 oz low fat cheese on a whole wheat pita and an orange