What should I eat before working out?

What should I eat before working out?

In order to get the most out of a workout, it is important to fuel your body with the right nutrients. Did you know that glucose is the brain and muscles primary source of energy? In fact, your body needs a certain amount of sugar to perform at its best. This sugar should come from foods procuring other nutrients such as fruit and whole grains as opposed to “empty-sugars” from sugary drinks and candy. When that blood sugar is absent, the body will convert muscle tissue into energy. This reduces muscle mass and can slow down metabolism.

What you need to know:

  • Have a small meal or snack 1-4 hours before exercise to avoid that feeling of hunger while working out and allow your body to have the energy to be active.
  • Drink lots of fluids before working out in order to avoid dehydration and fatigue (water, 100% pure fruit juice, tea…)
  • Choose foods that your body can tolerate to avoid any discomfort during exercise.
  • Stay away from high fibre and high fat foods as these are slowly digested by the body and can cause gas and bloating. For example: choose a regular cereal instead of a high fibre brand.
  • Light protein will allow the body to feel full for a long period of time allowing you to last the entirety of the activity without being hungry (ex: eggs and nuts).
  • Good carbs such as sugar and starchy vegetables are an excellent source of energy (ex: sweet potatoes and corn).

Some perfect examples of pre-workout snacks and light meals include:

  • a whole wheat bagel with 1 tbsp of almond butter and a banana
  • cottage cheese with ½ a cup of fruit
  • an apple with a handful of nuts or dried fruit
  • sweet potatoe with brown rice and grilled vegetables
  • oatmeal with 1 tbsp of peanut butter and ½ a cup of fruit

 

Camille Graham-Dubois and Stephanie Aboueid

Sources:

https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Sports-Nutrition-(Adult)/Fuelling-up-before-exercise.aspx

https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Physical-Activity/15-smart-snacks-for-active-lifestyles.aspx

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