Is it really necessary to eat before working out? If that’s a question that’s been bugging you for a long time, you definitely landed on the right page. Gym enthusiasts have said that fuelling up before going to the gym or getting into any kind of physical activity is very important because it will give you enough energy to perform well. Aside from that, it will also be easier and faster for you to recover. It is highly recommended to have optimal nutrient intake at least 45 minutes or longer prior to exercise. Let’s relate the human body to a vehicle – you can’t just drive a car from one place to another with no fuel, right? You need to have energy for your workout and you can get that from filling up your stomach. A proper amount of carbohydrates, fat and protein will surely help you last in the gym!
Since our body doesn’t store potassium for long, eating a banana prior to exercise is necessary. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, potassium is an electrolyte that ignites the electricity in our body that plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for digestion and muscular function. Bananas are good for those who are always on the go as it can make you feel more lively and energetic. So if in case you are in a hurry or if you don’t really have much time to prepare a decent meal, then one or two bananas would suffice.
- Greek Yogurt
While there are a lot of yogurts to choose from in the market, Greek Yogurt is probably the best of them all. What sets it apart from the others is the fact that it is full of high-quality protein that could help prevent muscle damage. It has also been proven to give enough energy and strength to gym-goers so this is definitely worth consuming.
A lot of people say that smoothies are overrated and don’t do any good because it only adds more sugar to your body and contains a huge amount of calories you won’t really benefit from. While that is somewhat true, smoothies are still a great alternative to any pre-workout meal. The truth is smoothies are only unhealthy if you don’t prepare them properly. Mix fruits and veggies to balance the taste and nutrition. Remember, it’s all about portioning. Lessen the sweeteners and don’t chug huge amounts. Smoothies are perfect for those who don’t want to feel bloated before a workout.
An oatmeal a day keeps the hunger away! It is true that eating a bowl of oatmeal can make you feel full and less hungry throughout the rest of the day. Often times, people get hungry after working out, and that is why some would tend to binge eat. By consuming oatmeal at least 2 hours before your activity, you are allowing yourself to get a good amount of pure energy that you can use during your workout, and it can also prevent you from binge eating afterwards. For a complete delicious and nutritious meal, try putting slices of fruits and/or chia seeds. For added flavor, you may include peanut butter which is a good source of protein!
- Chicken & Brown Rice
If you are the type of person who can’t let go of your favorite fast food meal then chicken and brown rice is a good alternative. Just like oatmeal, brown rice has the power to make you feel full and energetic whilst chicken is an excellent quality source of protein and other important key vitamins and minerals. Chicken breast is the best part for proper nutrition as it is lean and portioned well.
- Protein Shake
A bottle of protein shake is really helpful before a workout. This is actually everyone’s favorite as you don’t really need to spend much time preparing it. Whether you are looking to make your DIY protein shake at home or you have your whey protein powder to mix and blend, you are surely getting the pre-workout nutrients that you need. Protein shakes are easily absorbed by the body so just by drinking a single bottle of it will make you feel strong in a couple of minutes.
Pre-workout meals are very important especially to those who are very physically active. Take note that the ones listed above are just some of the many foods you can eat before a workout. Also, it is important to fuel your body with the right nutrients so you can’t just eat anything you want for the sole purpose of being full.