What is the best food before workout? This was one of my most daunting questions when I started my healthy lifestyle. And from the questions I have received from you lately it seems it is still a pressing matter. Trust me, I get it, so much information is floating out there that it is hard to know which advice really applies to you.
Here is what I know and what I have experienced to work best with my own workouts and in my coaching sessions.
Should I eat before working out?
The short answer is YES! You can skip to the foods page or read the next paragraphs for the in depth explanation.
Fueling your body before working out is key in order to get the most out of your time in the gym and energizing yourself to be able to really give it your best. Enjoying snacks that combine a balanced amount of both protein and carbohydrates are the best way to nourish your muscles before jumping on the treadmill or engaging in a high powered cardio workouts. Think of it like gassing up before going on a drive.
Which foods are better?
Complex carbohydrate foods are the best, especially before intense cardio workouts, jogging, running, etc. Why? Because they break down more slowly and provide a more constant source of energy.
Types of complex carbs: whole wheat bread, brown rice, pastas, quinoa, some fruits and raw nuts (no salt, not roasted). I focused this article on the latter two, since recommending a half a cup of plain brown rice before a workout seems a bit…well…bland. Although, if you fancy it, go ahead! It is full of fiber, and healthy minerals.
Which foods to avoid?
Salty, fatty and simple carbohydrates. So no chips, pretzels or candy. Not that you are eating that anyway… The salt in these foods dehydrates you, which is never a good idea before any workout. As for candy, well let’s just say it gives you such a sugar rush and then a sugar low, that it will make you drive by the gym and to your couch faster than you can spell sugar! So do yourself a favor and stay away from these.
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