Pre-Workout Foods: What are they? Why are they important? When should you eat them?
How much to eat before a workout varies from person to person. Some people can exercise after eating a larger meal 2-3 hours prior while others need to wait at least 3-4. Smaller meals or snacks, usually less than 300 calories, are typically ok within 1 hour pre-workout.
If you are fueling for an intense endurance activity you should eat a higher carb meal. If you are weightlifting, more protein is needed. Carbs are the fuel and protein rebuilds and repairs as well as prepares the right amino acids needed by your muscles. It is important to have carbs before a workout so there is a steady release of energy throughout. Below is a list of 5 great pre-workout meals:
- Peanut Butter and Banana- Peanut butter is a delicious source of protein and bananas provide healthy carbs as well as potassium which helps prevent muscle cramps.
- Greek Yogurt with Berries- Greek yogurt is packed with protein and berries are loaded with antioxidants that help prevent radical damage to your muscles.
- Oatmeal with Fruit- Oats are full of fiber, which means they slowly release carbs into the bloodstream providing a steady source of energy.
- Apple with Nut Butter- Apples deliver an antioxidant called quercetin that makes oxygen available to the lungs, increasing endurance, and nut butters provide protein making it a more satiating meal.
- Smoothie and Protein Shakes- Smoothies and shakes are a great way to easily eat a variety of fruits, veggies, proteins and carbs in a drink you can make in a rush or take on the go!
Hybrid Fitness Recipe Highlight
PRE-WORKOUT GREEN POWER SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 apple, cored and seeded
- 1/2 banana
- 2 1/2 Tbsp rolled oats
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Directions: Blend spinach and almond milk until smooth, add additional ingredients and continue blending until smooth. Pour into glass and Enjoy!