Providing enough nutrients and energy for your body through foods before a workout is really crucial in order to have a better performance. It can help you avoid the risk of getting injured after exercising. Having a proper pre-workout meal allows you to fill up the glycogen stores in your body. Therefore, you will have more energy for a strenuous workout because carbohydrates (carbs) and glycogen can be transformed into ATP energy faster than the other macronutrients. Moreover, you also need both carbs and protein so that your muscle can grow and recover after a hard workout. Besides, you need to be considerate about 3 macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, fats and the ratio of each type in order to have suitable kinds of food:
- Fats: Because fats are digesting quite slowly, the amount of fats in your pre-workout meal should not be too much in order to avoid getting heavy and sluggish.
- Protein: You should have a good source of protein before a workout in order to provide your body the amino acids, which can protect your muscle from being breakdown.
- Carbohydrates: There are 2 types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates provide your body fast-acting glucose and should be use about 30 minutes to 1 hour before a workout. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates play a role in your metabolism and should be used about 2 to 3 hours before a workout.
Here are some of the best superfoods for you to eat before a workout:
Eating a banana before you workout is one of the best way to fill up your glycogen stores and raise your blood sugar levels. Bananas contain plenty of sugars, carbohydrates and potassium. The potassium exists in your body for a little while, so you should use banana about 30 minutes to an hour before workout.
- Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is another ideal food for pre-workout as it is full of protein, carbs and it has less sugar than the regular yogurt. Greek yogurt should be used with dried fruit. Dried fruit is rich in calories and it provides you a source of sugar before you exercise. Using Greek yogurt with dried fruit can give you more protein to increase the effectiveness of your workout. Eat this mixture around 1 hour or 1 hour and a half before a workout. It also helps deal with some other health problems such as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome .
Note: If you cannot endure lactose, then you should not use this
Using a little caffeine before a workout can increase your energy for exercising and decrease muscle soreness after you workout. It helps you enjoy your workout more. In addition, caffeine can also reduce fatigue and improve the rate of fat-burn. An espresso or 8- or 12-oz coffee might be excellent for your workout.
Note: Some caffeinated drinks can lead to gas pains because they contain carbonate and sugar.
- Fruit Smoothies
Another amazing super food for pre-workout is fruit smoothies. They contain high-quality protein and the combination of simple and complex carbohydrates. The simple carbohydrates are stored in your body in about 15 to 20 minutes, while complex carbohydrates exist in about 30 minutes. They provide you an enough amount of energy to have better performance.
Moreover, fruit smoothies have a variety of micronutrients, which are also beneficial for your health. Using fruit smoothies before a workout provides you a source of fast acting glucose to exercise more effectively.
- Oatmeal With Porridge
Oatmeal is good for morning workouts. It provides you energy lasting for a quite long time. If you use oatmeal with porridge, this mixture has complex carbohydrates and is rich in soluble fiber, beta-glucans. You should use oats about 2 hours before a workout to deal with the hunger during exercise. You can also try adding a scoop of protein powder to the porridge, which can give you plenty of protein and amino acids to protect your muscle.
- Almond Butter Crunch
Almond butter crunch is another favouritesuperfood for pre-workout. It is delicious and healthy. Almond butter is loaded with vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus. Unlike peanut butters, almond butters have no added salt, sugars, and fats. Almond butter crunch is great for muscle building. You should use it 1 or 2 hours before you workout.
Note: You should just use an enough amount of almond butter crunch and avoid overeating it
Omelet is rich in muscle building protein and amino acid. Eggs have the highest bioavailable proteins. Moreover, the biological value of eggs is 100, which means it has a great proportion of absorbed protein utilized by your body. You should use Omelet 2 or 3 hours before a workout to prevent muscle catabolism and improve muscle growth.
- Protein Shakes
A protein shake is really convenient for you if you are in a rush. If you use a shake with a suitable source of fast releasing protein, such as whey protein, and with simple carbohydrates, you can get all the nutrients you need quickly before exercising. According to some experts, you should aim for a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio with 10 to 20 grams of protein. Another option is to add oats, bananas or other fruits to a shake base of juice or water in order to earn carbs.