What to Eat Before Your Workout
Posted By Janis Jibrin on July 3, 2012
Pop quiz: Should you eat something before you hit the gym?
The answer: Only if you’re hungry, because that means you actually need some fuel. Otherwise, you could easily negate the calories you’re about to burn. Plus, you could wind up cramping during your workout. If you do find you need something, keep it light. Here are a few guidelines to remember when choosing a pre-workout snack:
• Have no more than 200 calories. Any more than this may cause cramping. The closer to work out time, the fewer calories you should take in. Trial and error will determine how much you can tolerate, but to be safe, if you’re less than 30 minutes until your workout, I’d stick to just 75 calories.
• Make it low-fat: Fatty foods take longer to digest and can make you feel uncomfortable while exercising.
• Pair protein and carbs. This combo helped people who were strength training build muscle mass, according to a recent Japanese study in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. Low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt are good choices—they contain both carbs (lactose) and protein.
• Spread out your meal. If you work out first thing in the morning, have a third or half of your breakfast before exercising, and the rest afterwards.
• Drink up. Have at least one cup of water before you begin exercising and more during the workout as needed.
Hungry for some healthy snack ideas? The following five snacks meet all the above criteria:
1. Yogurt and granola
(200 calories) 6 ounces nonfat plain yogurt mixed with 1½ teaspoons honey and topped with 2 tablespoons granola
(120 calories) 4 ounces nonfat plain yogurt mixed with 1 teaspoon honey and topped with 1 tablespoon granola
2. Turkey and crackers
(100 calories) 1½ ounces skinless turkey (lunchmeat or home-cooked) with 55 calories of whole-grain cracker (such as 3 Triscuits)
3. Skim latte
(100 calories) 8 ounces latte made with fat-free milk with 1 teaspoon sugar
4. Energy bar
(200 calories or less) Choose a bar with no more than 200 calories, between 20 and 35 g carbohydrates and at least 7 g protein. Bars with these specs include Luna bars, Kashi GoLean regular or “Roll” bars.
5. Banana-soy smoothie
(200 calories) In a blender, combine 1 cup plain soymilk with a ripe banana.
Do you usually eat before your workout? If so, what works best for you?
Reprinted with permission from TheBestLife.com