Many of you may wonder why you need to eat before exercise, so let’s start off by first understanding the importance of pre-workout foods.
You need to fuel your body before every workout; will your phone work if you don’t charge it?. Working out requires nutrition and energy to be provided to your body, and if you don’t do that, you cannot expect to see the best results. Additionally, if you continue in this vein, it is quite likely that you may harm your body, and develop illnesses or sustain injuries.
- The right pre-workout foods give you more energy: your body burns carbohydrates and glycogen for fuelling itself before it can burn stored fat and protein. Ergo, it’s important to restock your glycogen stores before you hit the gym.
- Pre-workout foods boost muscle anabolism, and prevent catabolism: without the requisite glycogen, the body starts breaking down muscle for fuel – leading to catabolism, which impairs muscle recovery and growth. By consuming adequate protein and glycogen, you can boost the body’s ability to synthesize muscle tissue from protein.
It’s ideal to have foods with simple carbs about 30 minutes before your workout, and foods with low GI complex carbs 2-3 hours prior so that you have a slow-release of energy throughout your workout.
Best pre-workout foods
- Fruit Smoothie: Fruits contain simple, easily digestible sugars that can provide the energy needed for high intensity workouts. You can blend almond milk with fruits of your choice, like banana, avocado, or berries (depending on the season), and add flax seeds, oats for added nutrition.
- Yoghurt with berries and granola: Plain Greek yoghurt with fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries etc., with granola that contains seeds, nuts, and healthy carbs like amaranth, oats, quinoa, millet and so on. If you want to sweeten it, add dried figs, prunes or dates.
- Whole grains, brown rice and sweet potatoes: These are healthy sources of complex carbs that can provide slow-release energy when consumed 2-3 hours before working out.
- Chicken: Lean meat, combined with a little rice and lots of fresh vegetables is a classic health meal for pre-workout food. This meal is packed with carbs and protein, and promotes anabolism or muscle development.
- Superfood powder supplements: Nothing gives you better energy and nutrition instantly like a protein shake made from pure, organic ingredients, like pasture-raised, grass-fed beef. The Warrior Strong Wellness’ Collagen Peptides & Bone Broth Superfood Protein powder contains collagen and bone broth that promote healthy joints and muscles, and help portect tendons, ligaments and bones. It contains no GMO products, soy, gluten, or preservatives, making it 100% safe.