The Best Things to Eat Before a Workout from The Best Things to Eat Before a Workout

The Best Things to Eat Before a Workout

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The Best Things to Eat Before a Workout

It’s important to give your body the nutrients it needs to fuel yourself for your workout. You can do this by eating the right foods.

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Eggs

Eggs are a great source of proteins and fat, they are high in leucine which is the most important amino acid for protein synthesis to help you build muscle and recover from your workout, Andrew Edmonds, Holistic Personal Trainer, says. “Eggs will also keep you full during your workout.”

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Bananas

Bananas are “a good source of carbohydrates to fuel your workout, [they] are high in B-vitamins and the electrolyte potassium,” Edmonds says. “Electrolytes are required for muscle contractions, and you will feel fatigued and develop muscle cramps if they are depleted.”

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Cacao

Cacao “increases your metabolism which helps you burn fat, while being a good source of fat itself to fuel your workout,” Edmonds says. “Cacao is also high in the electrolytes magnesium and calcium, along with other essential minerals such as zinc and copper, B vitamins and antioxidants.”

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Coffee or green tea

“Both increase your metabolism, helping you burn fat as fuel for your workout,” Edmonds says. “Both also contain high levels of antioxidants – just be careful not to consume too much caffeine late in the afternoon as it will disrupt sleep.”

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Maca

“High in amino acids and with an impressive array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, Maca gives you an energy boost without the jittery feeling of caffeine,” Edmonds says. “It also acts as an adaptogen, supporting the endocrine system during periods of high stress by helping maintain hormonal balance, especially with regards to testosterone.”

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Coconut oil

Coconut oil is “high in medium chain triglycerides, a fat the body treats like a carbohydrate due to it being metabolized rapidly by the liver,” Edmonds says.  “Coconut oil also ramps up your metabolism to help you power through your workout.”

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Yogurt

“Lower fat, plain yoghurt is best as you can control the carbohydrate and fat content to create a more balanced meal, be wary of flavored low fat varieties as they will contain a high amount of sugar which may cause a drop in energy midway through the session,” Elissa Jewell, Strength & Conditioning Coach, Sports Nutritionist, says. “Yoghurt is a whole food protein which is quick and convenient to eat, so it may be a better option if you don't have much time to eat prior to your training session and need to grab something on the go.”

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Tuna or chicken

“Like eggs and yoghurt, these whole food proteins will help to supply a steady stream of amino acids to the muscles to aid in recovery and also in slowing the release of sugars into the bloodstream,” Jewell says. “Meat will take a little longer to digest than things such as whey protein shakes so be cautious not to consume these too close to the workout, so as to avoid indigestion, particularly during an endurance session.”

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Protein shakes

Protein shakes are not just for meatheads and bodybuilders! “Anyone needing a quick, easy source of protein can benefit from supplementing with a shake pre-workout as shakes are engineered to be easily digestible and readily available for amino acid uptake into the bloodstream,” Jewell says. “Vegans and vegetarians don't need to miss out as you can find plant based options which are high quality, just look for at least 20g of protein per serving and a low fat content.”

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Oats

Oats are a complex carbohydrate – perfect for the provision of a slow release of sugar into the bloodstream. “Oats don't contain too much fibre, which reduces the time it takes for the meal to empty from the stomach,” Jewell says. “Although this is good during all other times of the day, pre workout you don't want to feel like you're working out with a rock in your stomach.” Oats release at a moderate pace but without affecting digestion. They are also perfect for longer duration strength or endurance sessions, she adds.

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Bread

“Yes, bread can be a part of an active trainee’s lifestyle! Similar to oats, most bread varieties aren't too high in fibre to cause gastric distress, but are moderate release to provide consistent energy availability for muscle tissue,” Jewell says. “Look for breads which have about 5g of fibre per 2 slices, and contain some nuts, seeds or other plant matter which provide a little bit of fat, which improves the length of time you'll be powering through your training sessions without a drop in energy and blood sugar.”

The Best Things to Eat Before a Workout