So you're supposed to eat before you train...But what to eat? For many of you, a pre-workout snack may consist of whatever you can find in your car on the way to the gym after work…or perhaps that mid-afternoon diet coke or vending machine visit normally suffices. However, don’t underestimate the importance of fueling your muscles properly before a workout. Eating ~60 minutes before a workout tops off your liver and muscle glycogen (stored energy), which allows you to maintain intensity throughout your workout. In addition, when you store energy from carbohydrates, you also store water. About 2.7 grams of water is stored with each gram of glycogen. This means that your body will be better hydrated during the workout.
Ideally, you should be consuming ~30-50gm of carbohydrate and 10-20gm of protein in a pre-workout snack. Carbohydrates are foods such as bread, potatoes, crackers, fruit, bagels, and oatmeal (to name a few). Protein is found in foods such as milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, tuna, lean meats and poultry, and nuts. Pre-workout snacks also need to be low in fiber and low in fat, which both slow down digestion. Too much “slow” 60 minutes before a workout can mean some seriously uncomfortable GI issues or can simply delay nutrients getting to your muscles by the time you begin exercising.
- 1 banana with 1.5 Tbsp of peanut butter
- 16 animal crackers + 8 fl. oz. of skim milk
- 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts + 1/4 cup raisins
- 4 Fig Newtons + (1) light string cheese
- 1 piece of bread + 1 Tbsp jelly + 1 Tbsp peanut butter
Of course after reading last week's blog, you'll know that with that pre-workout snack, you should be adding water that you have also been drinking consistently throughout the day...right?
Want to know what you should do after you workout? You'll just have to wait until next week...