Do you struggle to decide what to eat before your workout? It can be a tricky topic, since your pre workout fuel is going to set the tone for your entire workout.
Don’t be afraid to put some fuel into your body before you workout. Yes, the goal is to stay lean and strong, however in order to do so you need to eat good, solid food before your workout. Munching on some celery sticks then going to try to get a killer workout in just won’t work.
Focusing on whole, delicious, nutrient dense foods is going to be key. This article will breakdown what to eat before a workout, how that varies with types of training, and a few recipes for you to pick from!
If you try working out without putting any food into your body, it will be like trying to drive your car 100 miles with no gas in it. It just doesn’t work. Your body needs certain nutrients in order for you to feel strong and energetic during your workouts. You might think that the extra calories are not going to help you in the long run but let me tell you they will! If you have high energy during your workout, you will burn more calories, lose more fat, and build more muscle. None of that sounds like a bad deal, right?
However, making sure that you are putting the right fuel into your body is also essential. Snacking on a couple of carrot sticks or a pack of twinkies won’t get you very far.
Your type of training will also help you decide what type of fuel is going to work best for you before your workout. Endurance training, strength training, power training, yoga, and a variety of other types of training call for different types of fuel.
Endurance training, such as triathlon training or generally longer cardio sessions, are going to call for more sustainable energy. You will burn through your carbohydrate stores relatively quickly, so you are going to need back up fuel. The best combination to eat before an endurance training workout is 90-120 minutes before training eat a balance meal of protein, carbs, and fat. About 45-60 minutes before training prime your body with another easily digestible snack of just protein and carbs.
Low Intensity Training
A low intensity workout like yoga won’t require quite as much fuel as a strength or endurance workout. However, it does still require fuel. The best thing to eat before a low intensity workout is going to be a small, easily digestible carbohydrate source such as fruit or rice cakes with a small handful of nuts or peanut butter. This will give you quick energy and prolonged energy so you can work your way through your workout without your stomach growling.
A strength training workout requires short, intense bursts of energy. This means that keeping your pre workout snack as low fat as possible is going to be key. The best pre workout combination before a strength training session is going to be a mix of carbs and protein, both easily digesting. A smoothie bowl or a bowl of cereal and a protein shake are great options!
If you notice that you are consistently running out of energy during your workouts, it means that you need a little something more than you are giving yourself. You have two options in this case. First, you could eat more during your pre workout meal. As long as this doesn’t make you feel overfull, go for it! You can also sip on a sports drink throughout your workout to keep you energy levels high!
Here are a few of my favorite pre workout recipes!
- The Quick and Easy
- 1 cup cereal
- 1 Scoop of Her Natural Whey Protein Powder
- 1 cup almond milk
- Mix the protein powder and the almond milk together, then pour over the cereal.
- The Heavy Hitter
- 6 ounces cooked chicken
- 1 cup rice
- 12 spears of asparagus
- 2 tbsp light Italian dressing
- Mix it all together! (or just serve together, if you are one of those people who hate to have their food touching 😉
- The Sweet Seduction
- 10 sliced strawberries
- 1 banana
- 10 almonds
- Protein Mocha (1 scoop chocolate Her Natural Whey protein, 1 cup cold brewed coffee, ½ cup almond milk, blended)
- Enjoy it!
- Pasta Masta
- 1 cup cooked pasta
- 6 ounces cooked chicken
- ½ cup chopped zucchini
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 2 tsp parm cheese
- Mix it all together and enjoy! I like the raw zucchini in this dish because it gives it a little crunch and an extra boost of micro-nutrients.
- Smoothie Move
- 1 cup mixed frozen berries
- 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter
- 1 scoop vanilla Her Natural Whey protein
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Blend together and enjoy!
- Pumped Up Pumpkin
- ½ cup pureed pumpkin
- ½ cup oatmeal-cooked
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 6 pecans-chopped
- Unsweetened almond milk to taste
- Cook the oats in water according to instructions on package. Then, mix in the pumpkin, protein powder, and cinnamon. Sometimes this recipe can get very thick, so loosen it with the almond milk if you would like. Then, sprinkle the chopped pecans on top. Enjoy!
There you have it! You now have a basis on which to decide what your pre-workout meal should be. A good rule of thumb is going to be to stick with easily digestible carbs and protein about 60-90 minutes before you start your workout. Keep a sports drink and a small apple in your gym bag just in case your energy starts to give out on you before you are done with your workout.
There is nothing worse then getting to the good part of your workout and running out of energy so you can’t give it everything you have. Fuel up, lift heavy, run hard, and those results won’t take long!