What time of day do you usually workout? Do you eat anything prior or do you wait until after your training session?
Working out is a strenuous activity that uses up a lot of energy. Therefore, it is crucial that you eat something before starting so as to give your body the fuel that it needs to perform well. Not eating pre-workout may trigger some pains and discomforts that can prevent you from getting down to your ideal weight or getting that six-pack abs you have been wanting for so long.
What are the best foods to eat before exercising? Should you have a full meal or just a snack? Should you go with foods that are loaded with carbohydrates or have more protein? Are fruits and vegetables okay?
The following are some highly recommended pre-workout foods that you should try:
Bananas are loaded with essential nutrients that not only make them excellent health food but also good pre-workout food. They contain high concentrations of potassium and carbohydrates, which are two minerals that can give your energy levels a major boost. Before working out, have a piece or two to avail of these fantastic benefits. Bananas can also help in lowering blood pressure levels, the prevention of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease, and improving metabolism and bowel movements.
Eggs are a favorite breakfast food for many people. They have an abundance of amino acids and proteins, which are key to the proper growth and development of the muscles. They can help strengthen your muscles, enhance muscle mass, and lower the risk of muscle loss and other muscular problems. Every morning, you can prepare them whichever way you prefer — omelet, poached, or boiled. Eggs are also a great source of good cholesterol, which is necessary for blood cholesterol level management and prevention of heart disease.
Chicken is high in protein, which is an essential nutrient that can give your body the protein that it needs to power you throughout your exercise. For best results, you should eat the breast part, as it is low in fat and contains good protein, which is crucial for weight loss, weight management, and muscle building. Chicken is also rich in phosphorous and calcium, which are two essential nutrients that play important roles in the formation and development of bones, reducing the risk of arthritis and other bone disorders; and magnesium, vitamin B5, and tryptophan, which help in lowering stress levels and boosting the body’s immune system.
Rice is loaded with carbohydrates which should supply you the energy you need to execute your workout routines. It comes in different varieties, such as white rice, which is overflowing with essential vitamins and minerals and omega-6 fatty acids, and brown rice is also loaded with essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, iron, selenium, and sodium, and more fibrous than white rice. For best results, you can prepare a steamed chicken and rice dish. Together, they should be able to give your body more energy and essential nutrients.
Apple is a very nutritious fruit that offers a long list of health benefits. They are low in calories so they are an excellent weight-loss food. They are also rich in carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamin C, so they can help increase energy levels, promote metabolism and bowel movements, and enhance skin and bone health. By eating an apple a day, you can also improve your heart health, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce your risk of diabetes, build protection against cancer, strengthen your respiratory system, and boost brain function.
Yogurt is a type of dairy product that is loaded with calcium and protein, which are key to building strong bones and muscles. It also contains active and living bacteria that help in keeping your intestines in good condition and promoting digestion. Also rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, phosphorous, and various other vitamins and minerals, which aid in blood pressure management, immunity, heart health, mental health, and prevention of osteoporosis.
When to eat your pre-workout food
The best time to enjoy a pre-workout food is different for every person. Some people are okay with eating a meal two to three hours before their session, while others are fine with a quick snack just half an hour before they begin.
Usually, if you want to eat a full meal, it is advised that you do it at least two hours before your workout. That way, your body has sufficient time to digest whatever you ate, and avoid that feeling of fullness or heaviness that can slow you down while running on a treadmill or lifting weights. But, if you prefer to eat a piece of fruit or just a sandwich, doing it about 30 minutes before the start of your workout should be fine.
Side effects of not eating before a workout
You may encounter a number of negative side effects if you do not eat before your workout.
You may feel lethargic, dizzy, or lightheaded
Engaging in high-intensity exercises requires so much energy and effort. If you workout without eating anything prior, you may experience lethargy, dizziness, or lightheadedness, as a result of a drop in your blood sugar levels.
You may get injured
Doing physically demanding activities with an empty stomach is never a good idea. Once you start feeling dizzy or lightheaded, you should stop what you are doing, take a deep breath, hydrate yourself, and take a break. Forcing yourself to continue may lead to you fainting, and if you suddenly fall to the floor, you can hit your head hard and get injured.
You may not see any progress
If you do not see any improvements in a while, you should look at your diet closely. Your body may be in need of more essential nutrients to fuel it to enhance its performance and get you closer to your fitness goals.