Like a machine, your body needs fuel to function properly and generate energy. Without fuel, you’d be like a car without any gas. Running on an empty tank wouldn’t hurt for the first or second time. But when it happens regularly, it would be doomed for ruin or damage. To keep your car running, you give it fuel. And not just any kind of fuel, it’s the one designed to keep your car running.
Similarly, your body gets energized with the right kind of food. When heading for a workout, you just don’t open your fridge and eat anything it contains. You go for specific foods that are essential to support your body’s workout needs. The success of your workout lies greatly in this, in eating the right foods that can fuel your body and maximize your workout efforts. This not only ensures your success but helps you prevent injuries as well. Before heading for the gym, make sure to consume these foods:
Your body needs fuel to burn fat and carbohydrate is the best fuel there is. Though brown rice is the healthier version of carbs, it has more fiber that can cause cramps in the stomach. Aside from having less fiber, rice is also inexpensive.
Banana is a rich source of potassium, which has anti-cramping properties. Eating a banana before a workout decreases your chances of muscle cramps. It can also replenish your body after losing some electrolytes. The carbs in bananas are easy to digest and don’t add up to your weight.
Compared to other fruits, the sugar in banana enters the bloodstream much faster, making it a readily available fuel for your workout. When combined with honey, the sugar will be steadily released in the bloodstream, which helps sustain energy. Snacking on a banana 5 or 10 minutes before a workout helps, especially when you have little time left.
Yogurt works best in helping you repair and build muscle because of its high protein content. Because it takes time for protein to be absorbed, you need to consume it two or more hours before hitting the gym. Yogurt is a good source of energy when combined with fresh fruit or granola.
Aside from that pick me up boost you get from your cup of Joe, coffee also works best in your workout routines. According to an American study, coffee has the ability to improve endurance and strengthen your legwork. Coffee has also been found to ease muscle soreness. If you’re not a fan of coffee, tea is the best alternative.
Maple syrup serves more than a pancake topping. It contains a high dose of carbs and antioxidants, which helps you repair muscles and tissues after a workout. Instead of topping it on a pancake, add it on your oatmeal for more boost of energy a couple of hours before your workout session.
Since you’d be losing more body fluids as you sweat during your workout, hydrating yourself before a workout is important. But try not to overdo it. Too much water can result in lightheadedness or nausea, which you don’t want to happen during your workout.
Drinking water during your workout is necessary as well to replenish and rehydrate yourself. If you’re not sweating too much, ordinary water is enough. But if you’re sweating heavily, the need for flavored or sports drink helps too. They help provide energy and delay fatigue.
Beets are superfoods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that are good for the body. Research shows that drinking beet juice to add to your nutritional needs for 12 consecutive days can improve endurance, which is very helpful for your workouts. Beet juice has properties that can increase blood flow and oxygenate muscle.
For high-intensity workouts, eat more fruits before your sessions. The sugar in whole fruits is easy to digest, which provides you more fuel for energy. The best whole fruit smoothie for your workout includes banana, avocado, flaxseeds, and oats. Fruit and yogurt smoothies are a good alternative too. This combo helps you prevent sluggishness during the workout, provides you energy-boosting carbs a well as the healthy fluids that help you stay hydrated.
The fiber in oats helps the slow release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, which gives you more energy. These carbs help prepare your muscles for exercise. Eating oats 3 to 4 hours before your workout brings a more effective result. Oatmeal and blueberries are a good combination to sustain you for longer workouts.
Whole Grain Bread and Egg
Bread provides your body the carbs that it needs for fuel while the egg provides you with your body’s protein needs for muscle building. If an egg isn’t your thing, bread with peanut butter works the same. The protein in peanut butter helps you feel full, making you crave less food after a workout. Maintaining a healthy weight is easier when you have fewer food cravings.
Though trail mix is a popular hiking staple, it can also be a good pre-workout snack. You get more energy from raisins and high protein and unsaturated fats from almonds. They’re also rich in antioxidants, which is good for your heart and circulation.
Apple is a source of good quality carbs. It has also fiber that can help you feel full much longer. Additionally, apple has water that can hydrate yourself.
As mentioned earlier, hydration is important before going to the gym. If water is too plain and commercial sports drinks aren’t necessary for you, you may want to try making your own sports drink to hydrate yourself before, during and after your workout. You can try a blend of water and slices of freshly squeezed lemons and other citrus fruit juices. Toss in a pinch of sea salt and honey to make an electrolyte blend.
Cottage cheese is rich in nutritious casein and whey protein. Casein is a slow digesting protein that fuels your muscles a while longer and helps for their fast recovery after a workout. Whey protein helps to build muscle mass and burn fat.