Understanding the Value of Pre-Workout Fuel
An area often over looked until its too late is pre-workout and post-workout snacks. Today, we will discuss the importance of eating a snack or a quick meal before heading to workout along with some ideas to provide the nutrients your body needs to perform at high levels.
Most athletes are able to eat food whenever they become hungry. But once their schedules fill up, this freedom may not be always be possible. Sometimes it becomes necessary to schedule in snacks throughout your day to help prepare your body for the workout.
It is pretty normal for most to eat lunch at noon and then not eat again until dinner. Our bodies need ample nutrients and calories to perform during a tough workout session. Waiting 3-6 hours between meals may present issues for our body’s performance.
That is why it should be a goal to try and eat a quick snack before heading to work out. By doing so, it will help our bodies perform the best they can. Just think about how much energy our bodies need to perform during a tough workout session. A little snack can go a long way.
What should this snack consist of though?
3 Elements of a Pre-Workout Snack:
The first element is fluids. Before you even think about starting your workout your body should be properly hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to consume 16-20 oz. of water or Gatorade 30 minutes before your workout.
The second element is fuel. Our bodies prefer carbohydrates as it’s main source of fuel. Some examples of carbohydrates would be: breads, granola bars, crackers, and fruit. All of these are a great option to give our body enough fuel to perform at a high level. Make sure to eat items that can settle in your stomach and not cause any digestion discomfort during your workout.
The last item would be protein. We can get protein from items such as: cheeses, yogurt, and peanut butter. Remember this protein will aid in your post-workout recovery by providing nutrients to repair and rebuild muscle breakdown from physical activity.
Not only will pre-workout snacks aid you during the workout to perform your best, it it will also prepare you for future workouts.
Tip: The Top 4 Pre-Workout Snack Ideas
- 20 oz. water, yogurt with granola, and banana
- 16 oz. Gatorade, apple, and string cheese
- 8 oz. Apple Juice, beef jerky, granola bar
- 16 oz. water, peanut butter and jelly sandwich
What food items do you prefer to hydrate, fuel, and provide protein before heading to workout?