Getting ready for your workout entails more than warming up with stretches and pumping up with your favorite music. It's also important to make sure you have fuel in your tank, and the right kind of fuel at that.
Not eating before a workout can easily lead to low blood sugar and light-headedness, which, in turn, leads to fatigue. And that means not getting the most out of your exercise routine. The following are great snacks that will properly fuel your workout.
Bananas are packed with everything you need to fuel you up for a hard workout. They're packed with potassium, for starters, and potassium aids in maintaining muscle and nerve function. Because the body doesn't store potassium for very long, it will keep your nutrient levels high for the duration of your workout. They're also loaded with digestible carbohydrates — the fuel for your workout. A medium banana with a half-cup of Greek yogurt is a particularly powerful snack before a morning workout.
2. Fruit & Greek Yogurt
This is a powerful combination because fruit is high in healthy carbohydrates while Greek yogurt is packed with protein. The carbs from the fruit break down quickly and become fuel for the workout, while the protein in Greek yogurt is used later to rebuild muscle.
3. Pistachios & Raisins
Almost any dry-roasted nut provides the right amount of protein and healthy fats, including pistachios. But pistachios are also higher in potassium, which you tend to lose when you sweat, than most other nuts. Pair pistachios with raisins, which provide the quick-burning fuel of carbohydrates. Or, you can pair pistachios with blueberries because blueberries are packed with anti-inflammatory properties that can aid muscle recovery.
4. Fruit Smoothies
Smoothies are an excellent pre-workout kick-starter because they have a strong combination of simple and complex carbohydrates (fuel), and high-quality protein that's digested quickly. The simple carbs will power the early portion of your workout before the complex carbs follow suit about a half-hour in. All in all, it's a steady stream of energy for your entire workout.
Carbohydrates are gradually released into your bloodstream by the fiber in oats to provide consistent energy during your workout. They also contain B vitamins, which help convert those carbs into energy. One cup of oats at least 30 minutes before you exercise will help you hit the ground running.
Personal trainer Ralph Roberts encourages his clients to fuel up before working out. If you don’t have fuel, your body can perform at its peak.
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