We all know that fueling the body is paramount to an effective workout session. Complex carbohydrates, protein and even fat should be part of your pre-workout arsenal, otherwise your glycogen stores will be depleted and your muscles will be starved for nutrients.
Not eating before exercising would mean that your blood sugar levels will be low, which may cause lightheadedness and fatigue. That is why it’s important to feed your body with the right foods both before and after working out.
You shouldn’t worry too much about calories when you eat before working out, so long as you remember to provide your body with the right kind of fuel. Eating these 30 minutes before your workout is sure to make a difference.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Surprised? While a peanut butter and jelly sandwich would not appear on the list of permitted foods of most diets, it’s okay to eat one before exercising. While the 8 grams of protein from the peanut butter and the simple sugar from the jelly are a good starting point, you can make a simple PB&J sandwich even more potent.
Start by using wholegrain bread instead of white. The complex carbohydrates from this type of bread will provide you with a steady stream of energy throughout your workout. Moreover, you can kick it up a notch and add banana slices to it. Bananas are packed with potassium and digestible carbs, which help maintain nerve and muscle function.
Oats are packed with fiber, which releases slow-burning carbohydrates into your bloodstream. Like with those in wholegrain bread, they give you a consistent amount of energy as you work through your routine. Oats are also rich in B vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates into energy.
Adding fruit to a simple oatmeal would provide you with extra carbohydrates, which break down fast in order to become fuel for your body.
After vigorous exercise, your body and muscles are starved for protein and nutrients. Don’t go about rewarding yourself with a nice cheeseburger and a bucket of fries, though! Remember, give your body quality fuel. You’ll need at least 30 grams of protein and 30 grams of carbohydrates after a workout in order to resupply your system with what it needs.
Tuna salad sandwich
In addition to being tasty, this meal provides you with what your body needs right now. Tuna is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce post-workout inflammation by inhibiting the muscle breakdown. Just make sure to pick the canned tuna in water, not oil, so that you don’t lose those precious omega-3s when you’re draining it out.
Salmon with roasted vegetables
Salmon means lean protein and lean protein fuels your hard-trained muscles. It also contains the afore mentioned omega-3 fatty acids. The vegetables also come in handy by replenishing your glycogen levels, in addition to being generally full of vitamins.