Believe it or not, there are foods that will actually fuel your workout. You don’t want to feel bloated or too full, but you also need energy and don’t want to feel distracted by hunger pains.
Exercising on a full stomach can cause cramping and nausea, so don’t eat at least thirty minutes before a workout to avoid any side effects. Some experts say as much as an hour should pass before eating and working out, but only you can really determine that. For fueling workouts, carbohydrates and protein are what you should be focusing on, but ingesting the right kind of carbs and protein are what’s important. See below for some excellent food choices that will actually help you achieve your fitness goals.
Fresh fruit has a high water content that will help keep you hydrated throughout a workout. Fruit will also give you an energy boost that won’t leave you feeling full or bloated. Fresh fruit, from berries to melons to bananas, will really help fuel your workout.
String cheese is a great low-fat protein source that can really fuel your workout. Your body needs protein in order to build muscle, but many protein sources can also be high in fat and leave you feeling sluggish. String cheese is not only a great source of protein, but will also give your body a healthy dose of calcium, without leaving you feeling overfull.
A simple bakes potato is loaded with carbohydrates, and will give you a low fat energy boost that won’t slow your workout down. Try a baked potato lightly seasoned (no butter or sour cream) before a workout to see if it gives you the fuel you’re looking for during your workout. White, red, yellow and even sweet potatoes are a great source of energy pre-workout, and can also help your muscles recover post-workout.
Looking for protein, protein and more protein? Eggs are one of the most perfect forms of protein you can eat. This workout fueling food can affect your cholesterol, however, so limit yourself to three or four per week. You can go crazy on egg whites, so try creating your favorite egg dish (scrambled, omelet, however) with one egg and three or four egg whites for a perfect protein meal. If you prefer your eggs hard-boiled, again, limit yourself to three or four per week.
Look for a low-fiber, high carbohydrate energy bar. Eating a lot of fiber right before working out is not a good idea. An energy bar that is high in carbohydrates, however, will really fuel your workout. One with protein will increase the workout benefits as well.
Last but most certainly not least, drink water. Lots and lots of water. Water helps to regulate your body temperature, bring oxygen to your lungs, and replace the fluid you lose through working out. Drink 16 ounces of water 30 minutes prior to your workout, and be sure to stay hydrated both during and after your fitness regime.