If you want to work out hard, then you have to fuel your body before you take off. Sunny Rodricks tells you which foods to eat and which to avoid before a rigorous workout
You have been hitting the gym regularly and are on the verge of toning your body, but you feel as though something’s not right. Well, the roadblock may not be your workout regime or the number of reps you do. But, eating the right foods just before your workout is probably something that you haven’t figured out yet. So, we bring to you a few of the best foods that you can eat before a rigorous workout to get the most out of it.
Also known as nature’s power bar, the banana is loaded with digestible carbohydrates and potassium, which helps in maintaining nerve and muscle function. The body doesn’t store potassium for long, so eat a banana just before your workout.
Many people who exercise in the morning don’t eat breakfast. They set out for their run or go to the gym on an empty stomach. But, opt instead for a bowl of hot oatmeal topped with seeds and fruits, which is a good snack before working out in the morning. Oatmeal will provide you with long-lasting energy because it is high in carbohydrate.
Wholegrain bread with cheese or egg
A slice of wholegrain bread is a great source of carbohydrates. You can top it off with jam or honey, or add a slice of cheese or egg to this pre-workout eat. A slice of wholegrain bread with low-fat cheese is not only easy on the stomach, but it provides protein and releases carbohydrates into the body.
Protein shakes with added carbs
Protein shakes are a quick and convenient pre-workout snack. They provide you with protein to repair muscle, and adding carbs will keep you energized. Protein shakes are thought to encourage fat loss, increase satiety, deliver essential nutrients to the body and even improve metabolic activity.
Caffeine, if added to your pre-workout meal, can boost your workout while decreasing fatigue and increasing the rate at which you burn fat. It also reduces post-exercise muscle soreness and boosts your metabolic rate, giving you more energy.
A smoothie made from green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli may not be very palatable and the high fibre can cause gas and bloating. Instead opt for a green smoothie. Mix your favourite fruit with half a cup of greens and water, and top it off with some dried oats or granola. It is a natural energy booster and will provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that it needs.
Not getting things right is one thing, but getting them wrong can prove dangerous. Avoid these foods for a healthier workout.
- Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli can cause discomfort because of they are high in their fibre content.
- Sports drinks contain large amounts of sugar, which can cause your energy to crash later on.
- Raw seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower are high in fat, which can lead to bloating and discomfort.
- Protein bars are loaded with sugar. Choose protein bars that offer a healthy 50-50 split of sugar and fat.
- Fried and fatty foods such as burgers, French fries and pizzas have saturated fats that can lead to bloating, cramping and diarrhoea.
- Carbonated beverages and alcohol are dehydrating in nature and can produce discomfort, indigestion and flatulence.
- Spicy foods can cause heartburn and could lead to cramps during a workout.
- Sweets such as doughnuts, cakes and ice creams are high in fat and are a strict ‘no’ before a workout.