If you want to maximize your performance while exercising you need to fuel your body with proper nutrition. When you exercise will partially determine how much to consume. For early risers who get going shorty after waking, consuming a small snack made up primarily of carbohydrates is your best choice.
According to Suzanne Kroll, Tucson, Arizona based registered dietitian in Tucson, “A relatively high-carbohydrate, moderate protein, low-fat meal is best to consume before exercise.”
The easiest way to decide how much to eat is to determine how much time will pass prior to exercising. A full meal should be consumed approximately two to three hour prior to the start of a workout.
For individuals who prefer to exercise shortly after waking, a small snack is optimal.
Top Pre-Workout Foods
Below is a list of foods that will help fuel your workout.
America’s consume over twenty-six pounds per capita of bananas, making them the country’s most popular fruit. They are a beneficial source of carbohydrates and potassium. Especially popular with runners, bananas make a great pre-workout snack.
Meal idea: Banana in a whole wheat tortilla topped with natural peanut butter
Athletes are prone to falling short on two trace minerals, manganese and copper. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of these minerals which help improve muscle function, making them a great choice. Sweet potatoes also contain high amounts of vitamin C, potassium and iron.
Meal idea: A sweet potato with lowfat cottage cheese and sliced avocado
Often called the king of fish because not only does it offer a high level of protein, it’s one of the best sources of omega three fatty acids. Essential fats help the body with inflammation. Eating salmon also helps decrease the risk of heart disease and improves bone strength.
Meal idea: Grilled salmon with quinoa and a green salad
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants which can help boost immunity and fight infection. They are lower on the glycemic index (GI) compared to many other fruits. GI is a common way of identifying the potential impact of a food on our blood sugar level once we’ve consumed and digested that food. Additionally they can easily be frozen and used at a later date.
Meal idea: Blueberries, nonfat Greek yogurt and chopped walnuts
Whole Grain Pasta
People planning to run or participate in endurance activtiies often fuel up on healthy carbs, especially pre and post-workout. Whole grain pasta helps restock glycogen stores and makes a better choice than refined pasta as it offers more fiber to fill you up. It also contains contain Vitamin B aiding with metabolism.
Meal idea: Whole grain pasta with lean ground turkey cooked in a bit of olive oil
Honey contains both frustose and glucose. This natural sweetener is great for providing a burst of energy, especially during a hard workout.