What you eat before a workout matters. And the choices you make can be the difference between a great workout and a not-so-great workout. Here are some tips to help you get the nutrition you need to ROCK that sweat session.
Tip 1: To Thine Own Self Be True – Such a great quote! And ironically, it applies to what you eat too! What I mean is, just because I eat a banana and peanut butter snack before my workout, doesn’t mean you should. Why? Because what works for me, may not work for you. I recommend you experiment with foods you like and foods that your body likes and you won’t go wrong!
Tip 2: Timing Is Important – Usually it’s not such a great idea to scarf a big meal before your workout. If you’ve done that, you know what I’m talking about. Instead, if you know you’re going to be doing burpees at some point during the day, plan accordingly. Give your body the time it needs to properly digest the food you eat before you go bouncing around giving yourself a bad side cramp. A good rule of thumb is to time your meal or snack about 1 to 3 hours before your workout. Again, experiment to see what works for you!
Tip 3: What You Eat Matters – I’m sure you know that French fries will NOT help you with your work out. In fact, any “heavy” food choices aren’t great choices when it comes to fueling your workout. Instead, go with a snack or meal that combines both carbohydrates and protein. Keep it low in fat, which can take your body awhile to digest. Good combos include: whole grain bread with peanut butter and berries, apple and almond butter, a bowl of low-sugar, whole grain cereal and low-fat milk, low-sugar yogurt with fruit or chicken or turkey breast sandwich on whole grain bread or whole wheat tortilla.
Tip 4: Try Not to Skip Food – Your body needs fuel to function. Food is it’s fuel. You can’t expect it to perform at it’s best when it’s running on empty. So, as tempting as it might be to skip food altogether before a workout, don’t! Doing so can make you feel sick to your stomach, lightheaded and put you at risk for injury. Remember, it’s all about planning and figuring out what works for you. And if it’s a banana or peanut butter-covered bagel, that’s great!
Tip 5: Drink Water – Okay, so this isn’t an “eating” tip, but it’s an important tip. Just like your body needs food to function, it also needs fluid. Your body is made up of mostly water, so yeah, water is important. And now that it’s getting hot, you’ll need more of that wet stuff. Can’t stand water? You’re not alone! I suggest adding sliced citrus or 100% juice ice cubes to your water for fun. Or make some fancy spa-esque water by adding herbs such as basil and mint along with cucumber in your bottle. Make drinking water fun by grabbing a cute, new water bottle. Whatever inspires you, do it!