There are great reasons to eat before you workout You need fuel for your body to sustain you and keep functioning at your highest when you exercise. In fact, studies show that the right pre-workout foods can help you burn more fat. A study of cyclists compared two groups. One group ate before their workout and the other didn’t. Both groups lost the same amount of weight, but the group that didn’t have a preworkout snack took ten percent of their calories from protein, which causes loss of muscle mass and is counterproductive.
Preworkout snacks should be a combination of carbs and protein.
You need the carbs to help fuel your body and keep you exercising at your peak. You also need a smaller amount of protein. Make a yogurt parfait with fruit, a banana, Greek yogurt and nuts. You can add the nuts for the extra protein if you use it for a post workout snack, but you don’t need them for a preworkout. I just like them. You can use frozen fruit or fresh to make your parfait. My favorite is to put a small layer of Greek yogurt in a cup, top it with frozen or fresh blueberries or black cherries or both. Slice in a half banana and a few walnuts then top with a thin layer of Greek yogurt with a few more walnuts.
Fresh fruit and some peanut butter is another good choice.
Slice an apple and put a bit of peanut butter on the slices. You can also use other types of nut butter, such as almond or cashew butter. Speaking of nuts, you can make your own trail mix, too. Raisins, craisins and other dried fruit can be added, also include coconut for more variety. While dates aren’t as popular as raisins, they’re also good. Slice down the side of a pitted date and put a teaspoon and a half of nut butter inside and close it. It’s a ready to go snack you can carry with you.
Don’t forget the veggies and dips.
You can make your own healthy hummus with chickpeas. If you want it smooth, make sure you soak it and remove the fibrous hulls before you process it. You can snack on the hummus with veggies or use whole wheat pita or crackers for the carbs. Cucumber hummus bites, which are slices of cucumbers with halved cherry tomatoes, olives and chopped parsley on top are another option. If you make your own hummus, you can flavor it to meet your taste, even making dark chocolate hummus to top a banana.
- Make a fruit smoothie and drink it ½ hour or an hour before you go to the gym. Fruit smoothies are high in natural sugars to give your body the boost it needs. They also contain phytochemicals that are good for your health.
- Oatmeal is a good preworkout snack. Top it with fruit to increase the energy producing carbs. You can even add a little honey to make it sweeter.
- The protein is as important as the carbs. While the carbs provide the energy, the protein digests slower and provides energy throughout the workout. It helps prevent the body from breaking down muscle and boosts recovery.
- Don’t eat a full meal too close to working out. The snack should be eating about a half hour to an hour before and be light. If you’re eating a full meal, try to keep it about four hours before working out.
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