Choosing the Right Pre-Workout Snack

Eating the right kinds of pre-workout snacks before getting your workout in is very beneficial for several reasons. The three most prominent reasons include preventing hunger, maintain energy levels and boosting your stamina. No one likes that energy-less feeling that hits mid workout when you have not provided the body with enough nourishment. There’s nothing like hitting that wall. In order to ensure that you do not run out of steam in the middle of a solid workout and that you have the stamina to continue it is important to provide the body with a well balanced snack before the workout begins.

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When to eat before a Workout

It is important to eat about an hour or two prior to beginning a workout session. Remember to eat smaller quantities so that the body can digest all that fuel before you get started. Eating too much before working out can give you a general uncomfortable feeling of fullness and even make you sick to your stomach. You want to eat light foods that are easily digestible; but nutrient rich in order adequately fuel your workout.

 

What not to Eat

There are some types of foods that you should avoid prior to working out. Remember that you are attempting to provide your body with enough nutrients to sustain you during a workout. Avoid foods that you know cause GI or digestive issues; and avoid trying something new just before a workout since they might cause GI issues. Fatty foods are digested slowly and can hang around in the stomach and digestive tract too long so they should be avoided. Eating sugary foods or refined carbs can cause your blood sugar levels to drop during a workout and can harm your overall performance by making you feel sluggish. Also avoid foods that are super high in fiber just before a workout or you may end up spending your time in the restroom instead of working out. If you have an off day, or a horrible training day take note of what was eaten just before your workout and it might give you a clue as to what types of foods or snacks to avoid.

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How to know what pre-workout Snacks are Right

It can be relatively tricky finding the right snacks or the ones that are most effective. It’s good to consume some carbs that are slow burning, and at least some protein. Bananas are easily digested and are full of beneficial nutrients. Add a little peanut butter to sliced bananas and you’ve got a great snack.  A lot of people prefer light smoothies before they workout. Usually a smoothie contains fruit like a banana or berries, maybe some protein powder or nuts and a small amount of yogurt. This is a nutritionally balanced snack that should provide plenty of energy and stamina.

 

Remember to keep it light too. Maybe a small fruit salad with some chia seeds or just a hand full of dried fruits and nuts is all you need. Try a whole grain English muffin with almond butter, or a hardboiled egg and some whole grain crackers. If you want a hot snack some oatmeal with sliced almonds and bananas offers carbs, nutrients and protein for your workout. The main thing to remember when choosing pre-workout snacks is to include protein and carbs. Nuts, fruit, whole grains and protein snacks can provide just what is needed to keep your energy up through each workout.

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

photo credit: Denna Jones via photopin cc

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