Everybody that works out or does some sort of strenuous exercise usually wonders to themselves at some point what the best foods are to eat to properly fuel their workout. Pre-workout foods and nutrients are necessary for your body to perform at its best during the workout and will help you get the most out of your workout. You do not want to go into a workout feeling lethargic and much of that may have to do with what you eat beforehand. Plenty of energy is required for both cardio and strength workouts and, while the post workout recovery nutrition may differ for cardio and strength workouts, the pre-workout nutrients that your body needs are very similar. As a general guide, protein, healthy fats and a generous amount of carbohydrates are ideal to consume prior to a workout, but the following list will provide some foods that meet these criteria and can propel your workout to the next level.
- Whole grain toast, peanut butter, and banana slices
Bananas are a great source of nutrients and contain simple carbs, natural sugars and the most important nutrient, potassium. A good dose of potassium is great for helping to prevent any muscle cramps during your workout. Peanut butter is a healthy fat and the toast will provide a plentiful source of carbohydrates to power you through your workout with confidence.
- Chicken Thighs, Rice & Steamed Vegetables
Arguably one of the best meals to eat before a workout, this meal blends together protein and complex carbohydrates. The extra fiber in the vegetables will aide with digestion and the dark meat from the chicken thighs will provide you with the good fat that you will need to prevent you from getting hungry during your workout.
- Oatmeal, Protein Powder & Blueberries
The complex carbohydrates contained in the oatmeal take a long time to digest, which equates to more sustained energy. The protein powder will provide additional nutrients and the blueberries contain antioxidants to help with the cell damage that will be sustained during your workout.
- Scrambled Eggs, Veggies & Avocado
Eggs are packed with tons of high quality protein and, if you include the yoke, you get the extra benefit of getting essential amino acids, the building blocks for proteins. Amino acids will boost muscle building and recovery and no matter what veggie you choose, they are nutrient rich powerhouses, and you cannot go wrong.
- Protein Smoothie
Protein powder is a must, but after that, the rest is up to you. Regular milk or almond milk, bananas, blueberries, avocado, peanut butter, and even greens are all fair game. You will be able to get fast digesting carbs as well as healthy fats and proteins to power you through your workout.