If you’re looking for a snack to get your body ready for your workout, you might be wondering what’s best for you. Lucky for you, Australian sport nutrition experts have ten great snacks you can try pre-workout to give you more energy, prevent muscle catabolism, and increase muscle growth. Basically, to help get the most out of your workout.
Banana & Peanut Butter
Bananas, while fun to spell out loud, are also perfect for getting your body natural sugars and simple carbohydrates as well as potassium. Eat a banana with peanut butter about 30 minutes before your workout to ensure that you have the perfect level of protein, carbs, and potassium in your body when your workout starts.
Chicken, Rice, & Vegetables
Okay, so this might be more of a meal rather than a snack, but hear it out. This is the stereotypical “healthy meal” – for a good reason! It gives you lean protein, complex carbs, amino acids, and slow energy. All of these are perfect for a workout! Try eating this meal two or three hours before a workout and skip the “pre-workout” snack for maximum “gains.”
Wait… don’t we drink these after the workout? Well, you can. However, when you create a quality pre-workout shake about an hour before your workout, you can really stir up improvement through a better anabolic response, or muscle growth. Looking for something simple? Try a shake with protein powder, a banana, peanut butter, and your preferred milk or milk substitute.
Whether you like your bars homemade or bought, protein bars are perfect for a pre-workout snack. Look for one with carbohydrates since you’ll be working out after rather than before. Also, watch that added sugar! There’s no reason to add junk to your food before a workout. Remember, natural is best.
Do your workouts happen in the morning? Perhaps you should try eating a porridge breakfast about two hours before your workout. While not a “snack,” this meal will give you the complex carbohydrates, soluble fibre, and beta-glucan your body craves during an exercise. Think about adding a scoop of protein powder for an extra nutritious pre-workout meal.
We talked about protein shakes above; however, fruit smoothies are different and worth mentioning themselves. They provide micronutrients, natural sugars, and glucose for a fast-acting meal-replacement or pre-workout snack. Think about adding protein powder to get the benefits of both protein shakes and smoothies all at once!
Fruit & Nuts
A quintessential snack, having fruit with some dried nuts, makes for the perfect pre-workout snack. Fruit gives you the fast-acting sugars you need while the nuts add protein to the mix. Think about your salt intake; however, as some dried nuts may have added salt for taste. For inspiration, try a serving of no-salt-added trail mix with dried fruit – or make your own!
Greek Yoghurt & Fruit
You might be noticing a trend here. Take fruit and add something extra for a perfect pre-workout snack. Well, here’s another option. Yogurt and fruit offer protein, carbs, natural sugars, and little sodium or added sugar. This combination is perfect for maximizing your workout and getting the best results.
Toast & Boiled Egg
One slice of whole-grain toast with a hard-boiled egg will give you the perfect combination of protein and carbs to provide you with that extra boost during your workout. Remember to eat more substantial snacks like this thirty minutes to one hour before the start of your workout. If you don’t like eggs, try some low-fat turkey. For vegans, opt for peanut butter with low levels of added sugar to get the same benefits.
While it might seem strange, water actually makes for a perfect pre-workout “snack.” Some people may find eating before a workout to be harmful as they later feel bloated or sluggish. If this is the case, try boosting your workout with a simple (large) glass of water about thirty minutes prior to the start of your workout. This will get your body hydrated before you start sweating. If that seems a bit too boring, try adding electrolytes such as Bindilyte for added flavour and minerals you will need once you start to sweat.