No matter what your fitness goals include, what you eat before your workout can significantly impact whether you reach those goals.
The science behind workout nutrition can be confusing. To help you reach your goals, remember these five simple rules for eating before your workout.
- You do have to eat. That’s the best news! Your workout will be far more effective and safer if you avoid exercising on a completely empty stomach. A small snack fifteen minutes to an hour before your workout will give your muscles the fuel they need to power through whatever workout you choose. Keep your snack small and easily digestible. Oatmeal, bananas, or an energy bar are effective snacks.
Be mindful of the calorie count of your snack. You don’t want to derail your workout before you get started by taking in more calories than you plan to burn.
- Eat to fuel your muscles. Bananas and citrus fruits are clean sources of carbohydrates and may ward off muscle cramps and soreness during and after your workout. Unless you’re planning to work out hard for more than an hour, you probably do not need to carb-load before your workout. Keep your carbohydrate intake moderate by opting for a slice of whole wheat bread with a small amount of natural peanut butter or a banana to give you enough energy to power through without overloading your stomach.
- Be considerate of your stomach. When you take in that pre-workout snack keep in mind that exercise stresses all of your body and may make digestion of certain foods more difficult. Avoid fatty foods and spicy foods, both of which may cause heartburn during a challenging workout. While a veggie salad may make a great post-workout dinner, the gastrointestinal distress it may cause while you’re reaching for a PR on the treadmill is not worth it. Save the veggies and spicy foods for your post-workout meal and think small, simple snacks pre-workout to avoid spending more time in the locker room than you do in the cardio room.
- Hydrate. The most important fuel for your workout is the easiest to find. Stay hydrated all day in preparation for your afternoon workout, or hydrate in the evenings so your body is prepared for your morning workout. Keep a bottle or glass of water with you throughout the day to ensure that you’re taking in enough water to keep your body ready for the challenges of your next workout. Add a slice of lemon or cucumber (or both!) if that makes the idea of sipping on water all day more exciting.
- Still confused? Ask. FitClub’s staff is able to answer any questions you may have about how to properly and safely fuel for your workouts. Ask FitClub how you can take advantage of FitClub’s dotFIT. FitClub also has a great selection of fruit and energy bars available at the front desks, so take advantage of the staff’s expertise and the selection readily available.
The science on nutrition can be overwhelming. Make it easy on yourself, and your body, by sticking with these five simple rules to ensure that you have a safe and effective workout every time at FitClub!