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Your Best Workout Starts With a Smart Snack

Oatmeal1
Source: cassandrebeccai

It can be hard to get pumped up for a workout or really kill it at the gym if you’re hungry and not feeling energized.  Unfortunately, grabbing a burger right before hitting the mats means you’ll have to contend with undigested food sitting in your stomach, leading to cramps, nausea, and a sluggish feeling.  The right snack choice to fuel your workout depends on how much time you have, but in general, it will include a combination of easy-to-digest carbs, natural sugars, and fluids to keep your electrolytes balanced.

If you have an hour or more before a workout, try a quick ‘breakfast’ style meal.  Pair a small bowl of low fiber and whole grain cereal with a glass of skim or soy milk and a piece of easily digested fruit.  Popular options include organic puffed rice and sugarfree corn flakes.  Avoid oatmeal; this food is highly filling but it’s too dense and rich in fiber to be digested quickly.

If you have just thirty minutes before getting fit, forget the cereal and have a banana with half a glass of milk.

Remember at the last minute that you haven’t eaten recently?  Don’t skip your pre-workout snack; reach for a small banana or an all-natural sports drink.  Don’t overdo it and have both.

Remember to stay hydrated by sipping water every 15 minutes during exercise and, about 30 minutes after the session, have another small, light snack.  Cottage cheese topped with a few berries is an excellent choice; the proteins in it will support muscle development.

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