If you’re looking for the best food to eat before a workout, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re trying to lose weight, the first thing you should do is start exercising regularly. But if you’re not getting started with exercise yet, don’t worry! You can still start working on weight loss by making small changes in your diet.
The best thing about eating healthy is that it will help you feel better overall as well as helping you lose weight. You’ll have more energy, less joint pain and better sleep quality too! So what exactly should we be eating before we work out?
Right here on Buy and Slay, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on importance of a pre workout meal plan for weight loss, pre workout meal for weight loss in evening, after workout meal, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.
Food Before Workout For Weight Loss
We all want to get the most out of a workout – to train harder, spin faster, run quicker, jump higher. And, while many of us prepare mentally for a challenging workout, we sometimes forget to fuel the engine or to do it properly. So what to eat before a workout?
There are certain best foods to eat before working out that will help our bodies prepare, and which can maximize your efforts in the gym. While we all have different nutritional requirements, these known foods – which are the perfect balance of fats, carbs, and protein – can fuel your body, stave off hunger, fight fatigue, and even aid recovery. So what is a good pre workout snack?
General Pre-Workout Foods:
Known as nature’s power bar, bananas are packed with carbohydrates and potassium, which supports nerve and muscle function. Carbs are fuel for our body and brain, and they account for 90% of banana calories.
Because they are full of fiber, oats release carbohydrates gradually. Due to this slow release, energy levels are kept consistent throughout your workout, meaning you can train harder for longer. They also contain Vitamin B, which helps convert carbohydrates into energy. Irish oats are often considered the best, as they are the least processed type and boast a lower glycemic load than quick-cooking and instant oats. So, keep a look out the next time you go shopping.
3. Grilled Chicken, Broccoli, And Sweet Potato
If you are working on building muscle mass or plan to hit circuit training hard, then this combo is a must-try. Although it is more of a meal than a snack, there’s a reason pro-athletes chow down on this regularly – and we think it’s time you gave it a go.
4. Dried Fruit
For a quick, easy and good pre-workout food, fix yourself some dried berries, apricots, figs, and pineapple. Dried fruits are a good source of simple carbohydrates that are easily digestible – so grab a handful.
5. Whole Grain Bread
One slice of whole grain bread is an excellent source of carbs. Add some hard-boiled eggs for a protein-packed snack, or some low-fat turkey.
5. Fruit And Greek Yogurt
This is a killer combo. The fruit is full of carbohydrates while Greek yogurt packs a protein-filled punch. Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has almost double the protein, fewer carbs, and half the sodium. Why do they go together? The carbs in the fruit break down quickly and are used as fuel during your workout, while the protein is stored a little longer and is used to prevent muscle damage, so it really is a perfect pairing.
6. Trail Mix
Nuts do have a high-fat content, but they provide the protein and calories required if you are trying to gain muscle mass. For those whose goal is weight loss, steer clear. If you want to buy pre-prepared trail mix from supermarkets, skip the ones containing chocolate or yogurt-coated nuts.
Make sure you eat your meal and snack 30-90 minutes before you work out, so you don’t feel bloated. If eating a larger meal, wait the full 90 minutes, but if you’re sticking with a snack, 30 minutes should be fine.
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Pre-Workout Meals For Specific Goals
1. For Bodybuilding
As a bodybuilder, you’re trying to stay lean and build plenty of muscle. Consuming a small meal about an hour before your workout–not a heavy one that will sit lean in your stomach–will help you see the muscle growth you’re looking for. Your small meal should be made up of equal parts lean protein and carbs. Some great ideas include:
- Egg whites
- Whey protein isolate
- Fruit, including oranges, strawberries, or apples
- Brown rice or long-grain white rice
- Wheat pasta
- Chicken or turkey
Note that timing and portion control are critical in this pre-workout meal. You want to eat enough to give you energy and fuel your muscles throughout your workout, but you also want to be sure that you’re eating early enough and light enough that your food won’t sit heavy in your stomach, slowing you down throughout your workout. Combining some of the sources of lean protein mentioned above with the quicker-digesting carbohydrates about an hour before your workout will ensure that you get the nutrition punch you need to keep building muscle.
If you ever wondered when to drink protein shakes, before or after workout? If your goal is bodybuilding, a protein shake might be good pre-workout food.
2. For Weight Loss
Exercising for weight loss means maintaining a tricky balance. You want to eat enough to keep fueling your body and give you plenty of energy to complete those demanding workouts, but you don’t want to pack on calories that could prevent you from losing the weight you want to lose. Eating lightly around half an hour before your workout will allow you to head in with maximum energy–and combining a complex carbohydrate with a lean protein is the best way to fuel your body.
- A banana with nut butter, especially almond butter
- Multigrain crackers with hummus
- An apple with peanut butter or a small handful of nuts
- 1/2 cup pasta or rice, preferably whole grain
- Any whole piece of fruit
- 1/2 cup oatmeal with raisins or berries
Keep in mind that your goal is to fuel your body through your workout. Fasting cardio won’t have nearly the same results as a properly fueled workout that will drive your success up.
3. For Energy
Going into a workout, you want to be sure that your energy levels are high. After all, you’re going to push your body hard! If you want to avoid that wall that makes you feel as though you’re not going to be able to accomplish your goals, make sure you’re providing your body with complex carbohydrates that will help fuel your workout.
These great ideas of the best pre-workout foods will give you plenty of energy for your training session:
- Fruit smoothies
- Yogurt parfaits with granola and fruit
- Whole grain bread with a couple of slices of lean meat
- Chicken with rice and vegetables
- Apples with peanut butter and raisins
- Greek yogurt
4. For Women’s Health
Women have unique health concerns. They typically don’t burn as many calories per day as men, nor do they have the same workout goals. As a woman, you want to make sure that you’re keeping your calories low while still fueling your workout. You need that same great balance of carbs and protein, but, depending on your workout, you also need to keep the calories low.
Some great pre-workout treats include:
- Fruit smoothies, especially those made with almond milk or another low-calorie option
- Greek yogurt
- Whole fruit
- Lean meat on top of whole grain bread
- 1/2 cup oatmeal sweetened with honey or agave
- 1/2 sweet potato
Finding the right pre-workout combination can be challenging. Once you do, however, you’ll discover that you have more energy and can meet your goals faster.
What to eat after a workout to help you stay on top of your game? And what is the best post workout drink? Of course, water. Make sure to hydrate before, during and after a workout.
Importance of A Pre Workout Meal Plan For Weight Loss
A pre-workout meal consists of foods and beverages containing essential nutrients and minerals to give your body the optimum levels of energy and strength required for working out. If you are a gym-goer, then a pre-workout meal is essential for improving your performance in the gym and achieving the desired results. A careful selection is thus crucial. If you experience fatigue during a workout, it could be that your body does not have enough fuel to perform. That is why you must consume a healthy pre-workout meal to optimise your energy levels and have a satisfactory training session.
What Are The Benefits Of A Pre-Workout Meal?
Pre-workout meals are beneficial in many ways. Let us find out about them:
- Fuels Your Workout: When you are exercising, you are using up your body’s energy. So, having a meal before the workout is the best way to provide your body with the extra shot of energy it needs, especially for performing a high-intensity workout.
- Improves Focus: You could end up feeling tired, dizzy and distracted if you don’t get enough nutrition before your workout. So, having food before a workout provides you with the necessary macronutrients to focus on your performance and optimise your calorie burn while exercising.
- Aids Post-Workout Recovery: Having a pre-workout meal packed with proteins aids tissue repair and faster recovery after a strenuous workout.
- Helps In Muscle Building: When you are working out, you may want to build muscles and lose weight. A pre-workout protein meal is rich in amino acids helps in muscle synthesis, repair, maintenance, and growth.
- Prevents Muscle Breakdown: If your body doesn’t get enough nutrition before the workout, it starts converting your muscle tissue into energy which may not be healthy in the long run. Eating well-balanced pre-workout meals ensures that you lose fat and not muscle mass while working out.
Now you know how a pre-workout meal can make a significant difference in your fitness journey. Let us now read about the must-have foods in your pre-workout meal plan.
What Type of Food To Eat Before Workout?
The best pre-workout diet depends on your individual preference, age, sex, health, nutritional requirements, weight loss goals and the type of workout you engage in. If you are planning for a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout, eating a combination of carbohydrates and proteins will provide you with the optimum energy levels for a power-packed workout.
Coffee, Your Go To Pre-Workout Drink!
Coffee is a commonly consumed pre-workout beverage for its high caffeine content and the capacity to improve exercise performance.
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), caffeine supplementation can help improve muscular endurance and strength and boost your performance. The recommended dose of caffeine is between 2-6mg/kg body mass, but a lower dose should be sufficient if you are an average gymgoer. For optimum results, you will need 1-2 cups of coffee 60 minutes before exercise. Some people might have a few adverse effects from caffeine like sleep deprivation, anxiety, or increased heart rate. This depends upon genetic variation and an individual’s physical and psychological response to caffeine.
Another study shows that the best scenario for those looking to boost fat-burning during physical activity is a mix of acute caffeine consumption and aerobic exercise done at a moderate intensity in the afternoon.
-Lavanya Parthasarathy, PhD, CDE
For those working to lose fat, a light pre-workout meal or a snack low in fat will do the needful. If you want to gain muscle, have a pre-workout meal with complex carbohydrates.
Further, both men and women have different calorie requirements.
Let us look at the best pre-workout meal plan ideal for both men and women that can aid weight loss.
Pre-Workout Food For Men
- Carbohydrates: This food group is the primary energy source for the body, and it is advisable to eat carbohydrate-dense foods at least an hour before the workout. The body depletes energy faster than usual while performing intense HIIT and resistance training workouts and needs fast-absorbing carbs to fuel muscle fibres. You may have oats, low-calorie smoothies, bananas with peanut butter, a low-fat granola bar, and nuts.
- Proteins: For building muscles, a protein-rich pre-workout diet helps build, strengthen and repair your muscles during training and improve your performance. You can munch on protein bars, lean meats, scrambled eggs, and toast with low-fat cheese to drive your fitness regimen to the next level.
- Fats: Incorporating healthy fats by including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as almonds, chia seeds, and other nuts can help prevent muscle breakdown during workouts and improve endurance.
Pre Workout Food For Women
Experts recommend that all women exercising to lose weight add loads of calcium and iron in their pre-workout meals. They can choose a pre-workout diet rich in carbohydrates and proteins but low in fat to boost energy levels, essential for healthy weight loss.
Eating a mixture of carbohydrates and protein before exercise can help in improving endurance performance. Adding protein to carbohydrates speeds up glycogen recovery when a limited recovery window is available or you consume inadequate amount of carbohydrates. It can reduce symptoms of muscle damage.
You can include low-fat yoghurt with fruits, oatmeal with banana and almonds, green apples, poached chicken with sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds in their pre-workout diet plan for weight loss.
Coffee, Your Go To Pre-Workout Drink!
Beetroot juice has been demonstrated to increase endurance and efficiency without causing any negative side effects. The key ingredient in beetroot is dietary nitrates. In the body, nitrate can be converted to nitric oxide, which enhances blood vessel dilatation and eventually increases blood flow to working muscles.
Beetroot juice can also help in improving power, time to fatigue, and repetitions. Even though beetroot supplementation has been shown in numerous studies to increase endurance performance, its benefits may vary depending on the training status, with low- to moderate-trained athletes benefiting the most.
To reap the maximum benefits of beetroot juice, consume approximately 2 cups of juice or 384 grams one to three hours before exercising. Beets can be consumed in a variety of ways: cooked, as juice, or as a dried powdered supplement.
-Lavanya Parthasarathy, PhD, CDE
Now you know the recommended foods you can have before a workout. With this knowledge of pre-workout meals, you should also pay attention to the gap between your meal and workout.
When Should You Eat Before A Workout For Weight Loss?
The timing of your pre-workout meal is also crucial for weight loss.
Here’s what you should eat and when:
- Pre-Workout Meal/Snacks For An Early Morning Workout:
It is best to have a light meal or snacks containing highly digestible carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (GI) for quick energy if your workout starts within an hour or takes place in the morning.
- Pre-Workout Meal For An Evening Workout:
Before an evening workout, make sure you consume a mix of carbs and proteins to refuel your muscles and aid their recovery. Choose simple carbs and high-quality proteins.
A proper pre-workout meal is essential to fuel your body for longer workout sessions. Apart from the macronutrients such as carbs and proteins, your body also needs good hydration for enhanced performance and quick recovery. Take professional advice from a nutritionist to plan your pre-workout meals and make your workout more efficient to shed those extra kilos faster than before.