A Dose of Energy!
Have you ever heard some people mention snacking before a workout, but you don’t know if you should do the same? This article is for you! You’ll now be able to determine if you should be snacking before your workouts and what your pre-workout snack should consist of!
When Should You Snack Before Your Workout?
You should snack before your workout if you are in one or both of these situations:
- You are about to do a long or high-intensity workout;
- It’s been several hours since you ate your last meal.
However, if you eat a meal near your workout, snacking is not necessary. You will only need to follow a few rules and modify your meal to make it optimal.
What Should Your Pre-Workout Snack Consist of?
To ensure that your workout is not hindered, you need to make sure that your snack is made up of the right foods.
Before a workout, your body needs quick energy. That’s why you should prioritize carbohydrates! The less time there is between your snack and your workout, the more carbohydrates should be a part of your snack.
On the other hand, if the time between your snack and your workout is longer, you can add protein foods. The important thing is to give your body enough time to digest.
In Other Words...
The closer you eat to your workout, the smaller and simpler the meal or snack should be, all to avoid digestive discomfort during training!
Pre-Workout Snack Ideas
It’s important to note that everyone has different needs and goals. With trial and error, you’ll be able to adjust your pre-workout intake to your energy level and discomfort level. When you get good results, stick with your winning formula!
Your Workout Is Scheduled in 2-3 Hours or More!
- Sandwich made with whole-grain bread and a low-fat protein source with a salad;
- Omelette, toasted whole-grain bread with mashed avocado and fresh fruit;
- Low-fat protein food, brown rice and grilled vegetables.
Your Workout Is Scheduled in 2 Hours!
- Protein smoothie with milk, protein powder, banana and berries;
- Whole-grain cereal and milk;
- Oatmeal topped with sliced bananas and almonds;
- Nut butter and fruit in a whole-grain bread sandwich.
Your Workout Is Scheduled in Less Than an Hour!
- Greek yogurt and fruit;
- A piece of fruit like a banana, orange or apple.
Foods to Avoid Before Training
Be careful, some types of food should be avoided before a workout, as they could have a negative impact on your performance.
Beware of Concentrated Sugars
Concentrated sugars in large quantities should be avoided, such as chocolate bars, candy and soft drinks. Since these foods are absorbed very quickly, they could cause a rapid drop in energy and affect your athletic performance.
Beware of Fats
Fats should also be avoided before a workout because they are digested slowly. They can therefore cause heaviness and gastrointestinal discomfort.
Some Examples of Fats
Be careful! Fatty meats, fried foods, cheeses, nut butter, commercial muffins and pastries are examples of foods that contain high amounts of fat!
Before a workout, you aim to snack light. The reason is simple! Digestion requires energy. If you eat too much food, a good part of your energy expenditure will be devoted to digestion rather than to the functioning of your muscles.
It is essential that you stay well hydrated in the hours leading up to your workout, as even a little dehydration can greatly affect your performance.
Now that you know if you should have a pre-workout snack and what it should consist of, you can further optimize your athletic performance!