Guest post by: Andrew Turner
You’ll feel so much better if you boost your energy levels before your workout, so don’t exercise on an empty stomach! The truth is, your body needs some fuel to be able to perform difficult tasks such as daily workouts which is why you need to provide yourself with some healthy nutrients and fresh ingredients that will keep you going. The right type of food, optimal amount and the perfect timing can do wonders to your body and increase your performance!
When to Eat? It depends on the type of food you choose to eat. If you are having a regular meal (full portion) containing protein, carbohydrates and vitamins, you should eat 2 to 3 hours before your workout. If you just want to have a light meal or an energizing snack, then you can eat 30 to 45 minutes prior. Which types of food will give you a lot of energy? Carbohydrates, proteins and fat all act as fuel for your body, but how to choose what to eat? Fats are slow-digesting which is why you should avoid eating too much of them and focus more on proteins and carbohydrates. Here are some of the smartest options for your pre-workout meals:
Banana is a great source of carbohydrates and potassium which means it will increase your blood sugar levels and make you feel more energetic. Eat one banana about 30 minutes before your workout if you want a quick snack, or mix it in a fruit smoothie as your perfect fresh ingredients in a healthy and natural energy drink (remember that organic bananas will do more good to your body).
Muesli with Greek Yoghurt
Greek yoghurt is jam-packed with proteins and then you just need some healthy carbs such as dried or fresh fruit and cereals. Granola and fruit will fuel your body with fast-digesting carbs, while yoghurt makes you feel full longer and supplies your body with protein to prevent weakness of muscles. This light meal should be consumed about an hour before you start exercising.
Did you know that porridge is one of the healthiest breakfast options and the perfect pre-workout meal? And it is delicious too! Oats contain complex carbohydrates and are rich in fibre (choose organic oats whenever you can). If you add a protein powder you will have a protein-rich meal that will boost your energy levels. It is best to consume porridge 2 hours before your workout.
Peanut or Almond Butter and Fresh Fruit
A spoon or two of peanut or almond butter, and you won’t feel hungry for a long time and yet your stomach isn’t full. Mix it with fresh ingredients like organic banana or apple and you get all the elements of a healthy snack that will elevate your energy levels right on time before you start exercising. Eat this snack one hour prior to your workout.
Whole Grain Toast
Whole grain toast is a great base to boost your energy levels because it is full of fibre and carbohydrates. Top it with anything you like such as organic jam, yoghurt, honey, peanut butter or egg.This easy meal works best if you consume it 45 minutes before you start exercising.
If you prefer a more substantial meal, then an omelette is ideal because it promotes muscle growth (eggs are rich in muscle-building proteins and amino acids) and makes you feel full longer. It takes a lot of time to digest whole eggs and you should eat an omelette 2 to 3 hours before your workout, or, alternatively, make one with egg whites only and you will get a lighter meal (containing protein and no fat) which you can eat about one hour prior to your exercise routine.
Chicken and Brown Rice
And if you are planning to exercise after lunch, why not treat yourself with a delicious and healthy meal such as chicken breasts and brown rice. You get both proteins and fast-acting carbohydrates in one single dish. Add a fresh ingredient such as lettuce or tomato and you will have a dose of vitamins as well!