Fuel Your Body Before Your Workout

If you’ve ever had to cut your workout short because you simply didn’t have the energy to do one more repetition, you probably would benefit from a pre-workout snack. You can fuel your body before you workout to maximize the results. You’ll have more energy so you can accomplish more. You’ll also work more effectively. Fueling your body before the workout can improve recovery to help reduce the potential for a long recovery time. It’s especially important if your workout lasts longer than 60 minutes.

What is a pre-workout snack?

You can fuel your body in two different ways. One is to eat a full meal two to three hours before you exercise and the other is to eat a small snack about thirty minutes before working out. Both the meal and the snack should be approximately 60% carbs, with the rest protein and a small amount or no fat. The snack should contain between 100 and 200 calories. Think Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or apple slices with peanut butter when you consider a snack.

The carbs replenish the glycogen reserves in the muscles.

Working out uses the glycogen stores and the pre-workout snack can replenish the reserves. It does more than just that. While the carbs provide quick energy, the protein helps repair the micro tears that the exercise causes. You’ll recover faster when you start your workout with a snack and end it with another. You need a snack that contains healthy carbs that provide more than energy. Sugary treats can increase blood sugar too quickly, leaving you shaky. Choose nuts, cheese, or lean meat for the protein.

Don’t include a lot of fat.

Try to keep the fat to a minimum. It can cause digestive issues. You’ll get some healthy fat with pre-workout snacks like a hard-boiled egg on avocado toast. Avoid a high-fiber snack, since it slows down digestion and can also cause digestive issues. It takes longer for the food to get through your digestive tract. Make sure you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. If your workout is longer or intense, you might need to include a drink that replenishes electrolytes.

  • Vegetables and dip can make a good pre-workout snack. You can make the dip from yogurt or hummus. A cup of overnight oats or oatmeal with nuts, berries, or raisins can also be a good snack,
  • Consider making a smoothie for your pre-workout snack. You can add a scoop of protein powder to increase the protein or make it with milk, adding fruit and vegetables for the carbohydrates.
  • The bigger the meal, the longer you should wait to exercise. A light lunch might cause you to wait an hour or two, while a full dinner might cause a three-hour delay.
  • The need for a pre-workout snack depends on the intensity of your workout. If you know you’re going to the gym for some active recovery and not pushing it, you probably won’t need to fuel before you go.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

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