The Best Foods to Eat Before a Workout

Remember: do not exercise on an empty stomach. For an hour of workout—running, cycling and lifting weights—you need to have a combination of carbs and proteins an hour before hitting the gym. The right pre-workout foods will provide you enough energy to perform strenuous exercises and nutrients for muscle repair afterwards. Here’s a guide for the right foods to eat before a workout session.

1. Snack Bars
Snacking on nutritious treats that’s high in fibre and protein will keep you feeling full for longer hours and control your hunger before a workout. Munch on one or two nut bars to help curb hunger and prevent you from craving sugary or carb-heavy foods after a workout session.

2. Nutrients Over Calories
A nutrient-packed snack is more ideal as it provides more nutrient content per calorie. A bowl of cereal, for instance, provides 250 calories, plus vitamins, fibre and calcium; compared to a bar of chocolate with equal amount of calories, but minus the nutritional content. Always pick snacks with healthier and more natural ingredients, such as nuts, yogurt and dried fruits.

3. More Protein Than Carbs
Perhaps, you already knew that protein-rich foods are more filling than foods rich in carbs. When fuelling the body before an hour of exercise, a protein-based snack suct as edamame beans, nuts, Greek yogurt and hummus 30 minutes to an hour before hitting the gym will help get the best results of your workout.

4. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are ideal snacks, too. Fats may have a bad reputation, but you shouldn’t steer clear from the good ones. Pre-workout snacks with tuna, salmon and/or avocados are rich in good fats, meaning small amount of these foods will keep you pumping for an hour and help your muscles perform its best.

5. Simple Carbs for Last-Minute Energy Boost
Unlike complex carbohydrates, simple carbs digest easily and can give you that much needed last-minute energy boost if you feel flagging while on the way to the gym. For a quick energy boost snack on crackers, rice cakes or oatmeal, but try to avoid their sugary versions.

6. Eat at the Right Time
When snacking before and after working out, timing is essential. Try having a 150-calorie snack 45 minutes to an hour before a workout. A well-balanced meal three to four hours prior to exercising will also provide you with energy to be at your most effective state when working out after a nine-to-six shift.

If you’re trying to lose weight, remember to eat before an exercise. Starving yourself before a workout will only drain out your remaining energy and fuel your cravings afterwards. Before heading to the gym, make sure to snack on the right treats.

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