9 Best Foods to Eat Before a Workout

So, working out is at the top of your new year’s resolutions, and this time around, you really intend to go through with it. Well, if you did your research well, you probably already know how important eating the right thing is to your health in general, and working out specifically.

So, we’ll not be going into all of that in this article. Instead, we’ll be looking at the 9 best foods you should eat before a workout. The list is in no particular order, and some of the entries will be semi-liquid. So, take note of that. Now let’s get into what you came here for.

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great breakfast option even if you are not planning to workout. And that is because it is high in fiber. That it is high in fiber means that it will digest slower, making you feel full for longer, and allowing you to power on till noon without looking for something unhealthy to munch on.

It is for this same reason that oatmeal is a great pre-workout meal. Because it digests slowly, your body will stay fueled throughout your workout and your blood sugar level will remain steady, which is great news because it means that your body will not give up on you during your workout.

If you are not big on eating bland oatmeal, you can add in some fruit and a healthy amount of low-fat milk. They’ll both make your oatmeal taste a lot better, while also offering a number of other nutritional benefits. You should try it.

2. Fruit Smoothies

We’re talking about fruits here, even if it is in the form of a smoothie; do we really need to start recounting how great fruits are for you? You can generally go for a fruit blend that works for you, provided they taste good mixed together.

That said, you have the choice to either buy store-bought smoothies or make your own. And while store-bought is probably the more convenient option, it is most likely the less healthy option, basically because a lot of them contain an ungodly amount of sugar.

So, you might want to consider making yours, making sure to add in some water or ice because water is very important.

One more thing, the reason smoothies are recommended is because they are easy to down and easy to digest. You can take them and be ready to workout in about an hour.

3. Protein Shakes

If you have been around people who practically live at the gym, you must have heard of them or seen them down protein shakes before their workout. And there is a reason for that. Protein is the nutrient that is largely responsible for muscle building.

So, if you are going to be working out or are trying to build some muscle, you need to up your protein intake if you are currently not having enough. But before you work out, having a cup of protein shake is a good idea.

At this point, there are probably a few people wondering how a protein shake is made. Unlike a smoothie, you don’t make a protein shake by blending a couple of protein-rich foods in a blender.

Instead, there are protein shake mixes that you can pick up wherever you pick up stuff. Just make sure to read the list of ingredients so that you don’t consume anything you shouldn’t or can’t.

4. Peanut Butter Sandwich

Interestingly, and probably good news to a lot of people, a classic PB&J is also a good pre-workout snack or food, depending on what you think a sandwich is. Everybody loves it because it tastes great and is easy to prepare, but it also packs quite the punch nutritionally.

For one, while protein is the muscle building nutrient, carbs are what give you energy. And eaten right, you’ll get a decent amount of carbs from your peanut butter sandwich, specifically from the bread. You should stick with whole grain or multi wheat bread, though, so that you don’t overdo it with the carbs.

The peanut butter is a good dose of protein for your workout. And you can add on the jelly, but bear in mind that jelly is carbs.

5. Fruit and Greek Yogurt

Fruit and Greek Yogurt is the carb-protein combo that you probably didn’t know you need. Greek yogurt is a healthy source of protein without the unnecessary carbs and sodium that regular yogurt has, and in this combo, fruits will be your carb source.

Now, the reason this combo works great as a pre-workout snack is because the carbs will break down quickly and turn into the energy you need for your workout, while the protein will take its time, allowing you to maintain a steady energy level and to even prevent muscle damage.

6. Bananas

Talking about fruits, bananas are kinda like a wonder of the world, and that’s because they are quite filling and are rich in a number of different ingredients. However, they are primarily rich in carbohydrates; so, eating just one medium-sized banana about an hour before your workout will keep you going throughout your workout.

Seems crazy, but that’s why some people would refer to them as one of the wonders of the world. That “some people” is probably just me, but oh well!

That said, if you already know that just one medium-sized banana won’t do it for you, go ahead and have a second. Just make sure that you are not taking too many because, carbs.

7. Trail Mix

First off, what exactly is a trail mix? Well, it is basically a customizable mix of chewables. I don’t know how else to describe them, because trail mixes can differ from person to person. However, most people typically have nuts and raisins in theirs, and maybe some M&Ms.

Now, there should be some commercially packaged trail mixes, if you would rather not bother making yours. But if you want to make yours, consider swapping out M&Ms for almonds. The nuts and raisins will give you the carbs you need. And almonds are high in protein, which we’ve already said is important for muscle building, and the healthy kind of fat, which is great for your heart.

8. Granola Bars

Granola or Energy bars are a quick way to get something in your tummy before you hit the gym or your exercise mat. They are rich in carbohydrates and have been specially formulated for the person who is planning to go workout. So, they typically contain the right amount of carbs that will give you the energy you need to power through your workout.

That said, in choosing a granola bar, consider going for those that contain a decent amount of proteins, fiber, and proteins so that you are not just munching on carbs. If you would rather not buy them, I’m sure you can learn to make yours if you look up recipes.

9. Grilled Chicken and Brown Rice or Sweet Potatoes

And last but definitely not least, you could have some grilled chicken and brown rice or sweet potatoes a couple of hours before you go for your workout. The reason this is the last item on this list is because it takes the most time to prepare. But eating it would make everything worth it, and I’m sure that you can agree.

This combo is kinda like the peanut butter sandwich combo because just like the peanut butter, the grilled chicken is a great source of protein, and just like the bread, the brown rice or sweet potatoes will be your carb source. But nutrients acting on each other would mean that you’d be able to go for a reasonable length of time.

One more thing. I’m not saying that this combo takes a long time to prepare, but it does take more time than the other foods on this list. So, it might be a better option to eat this before an evening workout instead of a morning workout, unless you don’t mind waking up very early to cook.

All of that said, it must be said that there is a best time to eat before a workout. You cannot eat immediately before a workout, unless you love stomach cramps and/or puking yourself. Your body needs the time to digest the food and convert it into something that can be used during the workout.

If you eat right before a workout, your body would be too busy trying to survive the workout that it won’t have the resources to digest the food, leaving all that food just swimming around in your stomach. So yea, eat about 1 to 3 hours before your workout.

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