If you workout hard, you need to refuel properly as well — in fact, it’s vitally important!
Perhaps you’ve been rushing into your workout, without planning proper pre-workout foods.
If that’s the case, it’s unlikely that you’ll see the maximum results from your efforts, and you may not recover as quickly as you should.
If you really want to get the best from all your hard work, a healthy pre-workout snack is an important, yet simple, solution.
Here are some simple guidelines for choosing a healthy pre-workout food:
- Contain around 200-300 calories
- Be low in fat and fibre
- Be high in complex carbohydrates (25 grams of carbohydrates)
- Contain moderate protein (at least 15 grams of protein)
- Be low in simple sugars
For more tips on pre-workout eating check out this article.
6 balanced pre-workout snack ideas:
1. Torilla wrap
A tortilla wrap filled with tuna will give you a healthy dose of protein, and if you choose a wholegrain wrap, your snack with be more slowly digested, so you won’t get those unhealthy highs and lows in blood sugar levels.
This is a great snack idea if you feel peckish, and your workout is about an hour away — not too light, not too heavy!
Watch out for condiments like mayo, and add in a few vegetables to balance out your meal — then you’ll be good to go.
2. Nut butter
If you’re craving something substantial pre-workout, a natural nut butter and banana sandwich is a great choice.
But, rather than choosing bread, add natural nut butter (such as almond) to two brown rice cakes, and top with banana slices.
3. Nuts and seeds
Trail mix is a great source of important nutrients, to help build strong muscles, and boost energy levels.
However, do be aware of how much you’re eating — although nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, you don’t want to overdo it with calories.
A portion of trail mix, is roughly a 1/4 of a cup, which is pretty small, but a very substantial pre-workout snack nonetheless.
Oats are full of fibre, which means they release their energy slowly into the blood stream. This is perfect for a pre-workout food, as it helps to keep your energy levels constant during your workout.
Go for 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, and top with some fresh berries to round things out nicely.
Perhaps you wouldn’t normally think of lentils as a snack food, but they’re a really great option, especially if you’re fed up with your regular pre-workout snacks.
Lentils are a very good source of carbohydrate, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and they’re low in fat and calories.
I suggest cooking a big batch of lentils, then freezing what you don’t need for later, and keeping the rest covered in your fridge for a couple of days snacks.
1 cup of lentils, with a dollop of fresh natural yoghurt works very well.
Yoghurt is one of my favourite foods, and it’s such an easy, healthy snack option when you’re in a rush.
Give it a little protein kick by stirring in a small amount of protein powder, before adding some freshly sliced strawberries, or whatever fruit you have to hand.
If you feel a little more peckish, add some low-fat granola on top.
What are your favourite pre-workout foods?