Looking to fuel up before your workout but not sure what to eat? We’ve made it easy, here are our top 5 things to eat and drink before your next workout session.
If you’re going to workout improve or maintain your fitness or train for an athletic event, what you put into your body will determine what you get out of it. Sports nutrition is a discipline all itself, and there’s plenty of debate about what to eat, how long before your workout and how much of each macronutrient (i.e. carbs/fats/protein) your pre/post-workout snacks and meals should be.
There are no hard and fast rules, and it’s important to listen to your body. As a set of guiding principles, here are our top 5 things to eat and drink before your next workout session:
It’s really key to get in carbohydrates before your workout. Depending on your preferences, you might want to have a snack just before your workout. If that’s you, we’d recommended having quick releasing carbohydrates. Quick releasing carbs digest easily and quickly provide you with energy to power you through your workout. Ideally, you’d eat these about 30 minutes to 1 hour before your workout. Bananas, granola, dried fruit, and bread are great examples of quick releasing carbohydrates
If you’re eating a full meal before your workout, we’d recommend you eat 2-3 hours before your session. To keep you energised for your workout, stick to low-glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates. These carbs tend to have more fibre and so release sugars steadily into your blood to keep you going for longer. Examples of slow releasing carbs include brown rice, porridge oats, whole grains, and Greek yoghurt (which also contains a bit of protein!)
Particularly important for those who are weightlifting, adding a bit of protein to your pre-workout routine is a great idea to help you repair and build muscle. For a protein-filled pre-workout snack, try nuts, boiled eggs, soy milk, Greek yoghurt. There are lots of ways to add protein into your meals; chicken, turkey and protein shakes (you can always drink half before, and half after or add the powder to your morning porridge)
Beetroot juice contains nitric oxide, a potent compound which reduces blood pressure and improves blood flow to vital tissues. This is thought to be the reason why it has been shown to improve exercise performance. Not only that, beetroot juice, when taken in conjunction with exercise, has been shown to help improve brain function too! You can buy concentrated beetroot juice from most health food stores which are either ready to be consumed or need to be diluted first (check the label for instructions on how to take it). Beware: beetroots are naturally very fibrous and in concentration can cause a little digestive upset. Add it into your routine gradually so you’ll know your own tolerance for it.
Stay hydrated/Use Electrolytes
As ever, it’s vitally important to make sure you rehydrate following exercise at any intensity. The effects of dehydration can range from generally increased thirst to feeling lethargic and worse. Being well hydrated also helps your muscles to recover faster. You can also boost your water with antioxidant-packed superfoods which help the body repair after intense exercise. VITL’s vanilla-maca flavour superfood powder comes in handy sachets making it easy to mix with water on the go. As a Sundried reader, you can try 6 sachets of VITL superfood powder for free (just cover the £1.95 P&P)!
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