Our weight loss patients often ask us why they need to eat before a workout. Many people feel if they eat before working out they will get sick or just not feel good, which can be true if you are not eating the right foods. However, not eating before a workout can result in low blood sugar which then leads to premature fatigue and sometimes light-headedness.
If you fuel properly with energy dense foods, you will be able to work out harder and maximize your energy. The right pre-workout energy foods will carry you throughout your workout and will also provide you with the proper nutrients afterwards for ultimate gains.
Pre-workout meals should be a balance of carbohydrates for energy and endurance, along with protein to maintain blood sugar levels and to help muscles heal!
Here are the top five pre-workout meal idea combinations recommended by our Blue Sky MD Registered Dietician:
- Smoothie: Incorporate 1 fruit and 2 cups of vegetables for carbs, Greek yogurt as your protein and use water or unsweetened almond milk as your liquid base. This is great for those who do not like eating first thing in the morning but your racing out the door to the gym!
- Apple or banana with nut butter: This is a super quick and easy option! The fruit provides the carbs to help with that extra kick of energy and the nut butter will provide good fat for longer lasting fuel!
- Protein bars: Not all protein bars will provide the right balance of protein and carbs, so choose wisely. If you want to get creative, you can make your own bars such as these Apple Pie Protein Bars. If you are strapped for time, some of our preferred pre-workout bars to buy in stores are Rx Bar or Perfect Bar!
- Oatmeal or instant steel cut oats: Complex carbs will keep your motor running. Oatmeal is full of fiber so the carbs will gradually release into your bloodstream to keep your energy levels consistent during your workout! Add 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder for the added protein to aid in muscle recovery!
- Greek yogurt with berries and high fiber cereal: The protein in the Greek yogurt takes longer to breakdown and therefore doesn’t necessarily fuel your workout, but that’s where the fruit and cereal play a role with their good carbs! The protein makes its entrance later to prevent muscle damage. Good high fiber cereals to try are Hi-Lo or Fiber One Original.
For the more serious gym goer, you can also try incorporating an actual Pre-Workout supplement. Pre-workouts can provide better focus and endurance. We recommend Blue Sky Fuel Prime. The Beta Alanine, L-Citrulline and small dose of caffeine will increase performance and max out that calorie burn!
As you can see, fueling with the right energy dense foods before your workout WILL help with energy, stamina and overall weight loss because if you feel better when you work out, you will be more likely to do it consistently and effectively!