What foods or drink do you eat before your workout? Everyone has a different take on this, especially when you have a goal of weight loss. Unfortunately, many of us don’t fuel up properly before an intense workout. After chatting with many of my friends that wake up early for intense and lengthy cardio workouts, like spinning, I have noticed that many of them don’t fuel up properly or even at all, before their workout. In an effort to lose weight, they are skimping out on important fuel that their body needs before a workout. This is even more important before a strength training workout. And timing is everything. Weight training actually damages the muscles, so having fuel in the body during and after the workout is important to repair those muscles and actually build muscle.
Eat Before your Workout – Rule of Thumb
- Your meal should provide enough energy to push you through your workout without hitting a wall.
- Your meal with start the recovery and repair process more quickly.
- Most personal trainers recommend 30-45 g of protein and carbs about 60-90 minutes before your workout.
- Hydration is a critical component for all workouts, and in fact the recommendation is 2L of water per day. So drink up!
- If you are headed out for a morning workout, you may also want a little juice – caffeine, green tea extract, vitamin B12 – all of these will give you a natural boost to give you the extra oomph to power through your workout!
5 Options to Eat Before your Workout
- Banana or Banana Protein Smoothie – Depending on how long you are planning to workout, a simple banana can offer the right balance of carbohydrates, with some potassium to power you through that workout. If you are planning something a bit longer, you may want to try one of our creations from Simply Smoothies like the Jungle Chunky Monkey Smoothie, made with almond milk, banana, cocoa powder, spinach, almond butter, chocolate whey protein powder. At 250 calories, 34g of carbohydrates and 17g protein, this smoothie will get you through a tough workout! Either of these are especially great for a cardio session like running or spinning!
- Egg white scramble with oats and spinach – Made with 3 egg whites and 1 full egg, fresh spinach leaves, and a 1/2 cup oats, this is a perfect option for a strength training workout. According to the trainers at ACE Fitness, it offers just the right balance of protein, carbs and fat to not only fuel you through the workout, but also help you begin to recover from the muscle damage done during the workout. This particular combo adds up to 300 calories, and offers 27g of carbs with 25g of protein.
- Whole grain/wheat bread topped with protein – This is a great source of carbs, as you might expect, and opting for a whole grain/wheat option is definitely healthier. Top with protein like peanut butter, sliced hard-boiled eggs or even sliced turkey to get you geared up for an intense workout. You will walk into the gym with 30g of carbs and 15-20g of protein on board!
- Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit – Again, a great combo of carbohydrates from the fresh fruit, like blueberries or strawberries, sit on top of the protein-rich Greek yogurt. The carbohydrates break down early in the workout, providing the energy needed during the workout, and the protein breaks down later, helping to fuel the recovery. This is great option the you are on the go and rushing into the gym after work!
- Energy drink – Lately, with the temperatures rising, we have been opting for refreshing energy drinks to quench our thirst. And with a newborn at home, we need the extra boost to really energize our workouts. We are big fans of the Orange Energy Powder from EBoost. It is powder that when mixed with cold water, can provide energy, focus, a metabolism boost, and even a positive mood! Its key ingredients include caffeine, green tea extract, electrolytes and a very healthy dose of vitamin B12. Plus, there’s 0g of sugar, unlike those bottled drinks like Gatorade or Vitamin Water.
Bottom line, don’t be afraid to eat before or after a workout – it is a critical way to get in shape, lose weight and achieve your goals. Picking the right fuel is the key!
Looking for a way to track your exercises and workouts?
Focused on Training is our latest app development to accompany our site, which quickly and easily tracks your exercise and workout progress at home or in the gym. While the AppleWatch helps with tracking cardio very well, Focused on Training tracks everything including weight training! It shows you progress over time on how many reps you can complete and even calculates your 1-rep max. Download FREE in the App Store!