I'm not sure about you but my energy level in the gym is heavily influenced by my last meal. If I exercise on an empty stomach, I run out of steam quickly. My body convinces me that a 60 minute workout should only be 30 today.
What To Look For In Pre-Workout Foods
I get a much better workout when I eat 30-45 minutes before hand. I look for slow releasing carbs that don't spike sugar levels (think rolled oats instead of energy bars). And I look for a little protein. The protein makes my carbs feel more filling and putting it in pre-workout helps with toning.
Equally as important, we want something easy to digest.
Top 7 Foods To Eat Before A Workout
1. Fruit With Nut Butter
Pears, apples, banana etc are easy to digest and full of clean energy. Pair them with any preservative free nut butter and you have a delicious sweat treat that will fuel you through an intense workout. Peanut butter on banana with some cacao nibs 45 minutes before class is the way to go if time permits. Or simply dip an apple in almond butter.
2. Homemade Bliss Balls
You knew you'd see these on the list. They're made for pre workouts. I like one with a glass of water about 20 minutes before working out.
There no shortage of recipes on the web, but obviously none will be better than our three:
2. Small Smoothie
Smoothies work perfectly pre and post workout. However, I find a big smoothie too much. What I end up doing is making a big smoothie and enjoying one third of it before working out. Then I'll finish the rest post-workout so that I'm replenishing and re-fueling.
Another go-to of mine is a coffee smoothie. With rolled oats and banana. So good.
3. Small Bowl Of Granola
I love about ten tablespoons of our Cereal Killer granola. Either with greek yoghurt or almond milk. The trick is to not eat too much. It's pretty fibre dense so we have enough to fuel, not enough to give the stomach a task.
4. Carrots With Hummus
Carrot juice is a ridiculous source of energy. All the marketing budgets preaching the health of Gatorade could actually be applied honestly to carrots and carrot juice. Its a sincere multi-vitamin. But I assume you don't have time to squeeze some, so lets get your Bugs Bunny on. Similar to our fruit+nut butter combo above, dipping raw carrots into hummus is a simple way to get slow releasing energy and protein.
5. Chia Pudding
This one takes some planning but a chia pudding is another brilliant fuel source. Easy to eat and full of omega3s and protein. I like activating mine with coconut water and vanilla bean or a vegan chocolate protein powder with cold coffee (#genius).
6. Overnight Oats or Oatmeal
Rolled oats are one of my favourite carbs. Slow burning energy, fibre dense, tasty and versatile. I like soaking them in almond milk, ideally for a few hours but I have no problem eating them straight away too. A warm bowl of oatmeal with raw honey and cinnamon will also get you going.
Bonus Energy Sources 10-15 Minutes Before Exercise
These express hits of energy are in liquid form. Which means your body has them in your bloodstream in 10-15 minutes. Turn to these when you're hard up for time. As I'm a Procrastinating Pete, I'll often just grab a banana and a coffee 15 minutes before gametime.
Cold Pressed Beetroot Juice
I mentioned carrot juice above. One of my favourites. A scientifically loved alternative or partner to carrot juice, is beetroot juice. The nitrate oxide gives your heart the fuel to pump faster and more efficiently. Beetroot juice is used by Olympic athletes, it's that good.
I love a little clean caffeine to get the heart racing. Whether its cold drip, espresso or a dirty cup of instant coffee. Nothing creamy though. Just enegerising black beans and water. Maybe some cinnamon.
What are your go-to pre-workout snacks?