According to sports nutrition expert Christine Rosenbloom, Ph.D., it is very important to eat good carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fats and plenty of fluids before a workout or competition.
She notes that our muscles rely on carbs for fast energy, such as cereals, breads, fruits, rice and vegetables.
You also need protein to fuel your muscles and blood cells, which deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the muscles.
What Exactly to Eat Before a Workout?
A good meal before exercise should focus on these items:
- Low fat
- Moderate protein and carbs
- Low fiber
- Plenty of fluids
- Familiar foods that you know you tolerate
A good choice for many of us might be a grilled chicken sandwich or possibly a slice of cheese pizza. However, be sure to avoid all fried foods, really greasy burgers and any soft drinks, especially ones with caffeine.
Remember, Rosenbloom says, do not try out new foods before going out on an intense workout!
It also is important to get hydrated before your workout. Drink about two cups of water about two hours before you work out.
A Word About Exercising Without Eating
If you are just doing a walk or even a light jog, not eating should be fine. She recommends just drinking some water before going on your way. However, if you are going to be doing a more intense workout, a piece of toast and some fruit provides a quick, healthy burst of energy.
Keep these tips in mind during your next workout so you can boost your performance!