Some people are under the impression that working out on an empty stomach is the ideal situation. These people couldn’t be more wrong! You could end up with low blood sugar, which can destroy your workout motivation and undermine your progress. That’s like trying to take your car for a cruise when the fuel indicator is pointing to “empty.” The right foods can give you all the energy you need for a top-notch workout and help your body move into ideal fat-burning, muscle-building mode.
Plan to eat about an hour before your workout. With the right fuel, you’ll be ready to give your workout routine everything you have. The right fuels for an upcoming workout are complex carbohydrates and plenty of protein. Here are a few great ideas for ideal snacks.
Oats. This humble, often overlooked grain is full of fiber, which helps give you an enduring energy boost over a period of time. They’re also full of B vitamins, which help your body turn those carbs into workout energy. A cup or so before exercising will keep you going harder, longer. Prepare them the night before by soaking them in almond milk or cook them on the stove. Add a little fruit while you’re at it!
Whole Grain Bread. If you don’t have time to cook oats, grab a slice of whole grain bread for a similar effect. Remember the critical difference between whole wheat bread and whole grain. You want whole grains, which have complex carbs and plenty of fiber. Be mindful of what you put on it. Sliced turkey or hard-boiled eggs will give you the protein you need. Natural, no-sugar added jam or honey can provide a quick burst of energy until the carbs in the bread get broken down.
Bananas. Some people compare bananas to energy bars. They’re portable, individually wrapped and full of nutrients that can take your workout to the next level. Bananas have plenty of easily digested carbohydrates, as well as potassium, a critical electrolyte for nerve and muscle function. Bananas are particularly ideal for those who work out first thing in the morning. Combine it with high quality protein for a perfect start to your day.
Fruit and yogurt. Yogurt is high in protein, typically low in fat and loaded with digestive-tract enabling probiotics. You can fuel up for your exercise routine while also keeping your gut healthy and happy. That, in turn, can help improve your mental clarity and focus, as gut bacteria is linked with improved mental healthy and well-being. The fruit will provide a range of vitamins or minerals, as well as carbohydrates for immediate exercise energy.