Quick Workout Nutrition Tips
There tends to be a lot of confusion around what to eat pre and post workout. And although for weight loss you want to focus on low carbs, carbs are what you need to get yours through a good workout. Imagine trying to drive your car to its destination without enough fuel. You’ll either perform less or run out of fuel… literally.
For your pre-workout nutrition, you want to focus on whole foods that are higher in carbs, moderate in protein, and lower in fat and fiber. Fat and fiber tend to slow down digestion and can cause gastrointestinal upset during your workouts. Carbs are your main fuel source for activity and, just as important, it’s the primary fuel source for your brain. Additionally, the more substantial the meal is, the more time you want to allow for digestion, so it’s not sitting in your stomach.
Of course, this also depends on what kind of workout you are performing. If you’re going to a low-intensity yoga class, you don’t need to add the extra calories or carbs. Walking the dog after work is another example of active living where extra carbohydrates are not required. But planning on a CrossFit class or a HIIT cycle at the gym? You’ll need the energy to push through an effective and impactful workout.
Heading to a high-intensity circuit training and not sure what to eat to fuel your body? Try these 5 tasty pre-workout snacks.
1 – Plain Greek Yogurt with Berries
The berries provide quick-digesting carbs to fuel your workout, and the Greek yogurt provides ample protein to prevent some of that muscle breakdown. You could also add some nuts, seeds, and wholesome carbs (like oats, amaranth, quinoa, and/or millet). You want to keep sugar to a minimum. Same goes for the yogurt: Stick to plain rather than fruit flavors and sweeten it yourself with a natural sugar like raw honey or add cinnamon and vanilla.
2 – Whole Fruit Smoothie
Fruit provides simple sugars that are easy to digest. These types of sugars are your body’s preferred source of energy for high-intensity workouts. Getting simple sugars from fruit is higher in nutrients than from sweetened, commercial “energy bars”. Try whirling together banana, peanut butter, flaxseeds, and almond milk for a delicious pre-workout snack. Or, try our blueberry kale smoothie available on our site.
3 – High Protein Oatmeal and Blueberries
If you’re always running late, try some blueberry-almond overnight oats. Add almond butter (1 tbsp), chia seeds (2 tsp), and oats (1 tbsp), along with ½ a cup of plain Greek yogurt and 1 scoop of protein powder (vanilla or unflavored) to a small bowl, cover and leave overnight. Ready for the next day’s pre-workout treat. A scoop of protein powder adds amino acids to aid your muscles that are breaking down.
4 – Banana with Peanut Butter and Raw Honey
Bananas are mother nature’s power bar: They’re loaded with simple carbs for fuel and potassium, which helps with optimal nerve and muscle function. Top half a banana with a serving of peanut butter—or any other nut butter you like. (Just try to stick to the recommended 1Tbsp serving size.) If you want a little sweetness, drizzle a bit of raw honey on your snack. It will release slow, steady levels of glucose into your bloodstream—great for grueling WODs and endurance workouts if it doesn’t have enough readily available carbs.
5 – Apple with Almond Butter and Dates
Dates are a great source of simple sugars that are also high in minerals to aid your muscles during training. The small amount of fiber in the apples and dates, plus the monounsaturated fats in the almond butter, will curb your hunger without filling you up—ideal if you aren’t too hungry pre-exercise.
Let us know what you think of these 5 new and inspiring pre-workout ideas. If you try one this week, let us know how it helps fuel your exercise routine. We have many more smoothie options for you at www.lowfatlowcarb.com. Happy Training!
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