A balanced diet full of healthy carbs, fats, and protein is the way to go if you’re to stay committed, inspired, and performing optimally. Picture : Pexels / Karolina Grabowska
A balanced diet full of healthy carbs, fats, and protein is the way to go if you’re to stay committed, inspired, and performing optimally. Picture : Pexels / Karolina Grabowska

A list of things you can eat before your workout

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Jun 5, 2021

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The right foods before and after exercise can boost your results.

A balanced diet full of healthy carbs, fats, and protein is the way to go if you’re to stay committed, inspired, and performing optimally. This applies to what goes into our bodies before and after a workout, as our bodies shift from fuelling movement to repairing those all-important muscles.

As a general rule of thumb, it's best not to eat immediately before a workout because while your muscles are trying to put in the work, your stomach is trying to simultaneously digest the food in your stomach. These competing demands are a challenge for optimal performance. And, even more of a factor, eating too close to a workout may cause you to experience some GI discomfort while you train or play.

Herbalife Nutrition on pre-workout nutrition

Many recommend consuming carbohydrates before a workout as a way to increase our energy levels so that we can perform at our best.

Complex carbs should be consumed two to three hours before, as they take longer to digest, while you can get away with having simple carbs 20 to 30 minutes prior to a session. Here are some great options of foods to eat before you exercise:

Banana and peanut butter

This is a well-rounded snack to have before you begin your chosen activity. Why? Bananas are considered a carbohydrate and include powerful antioxidants. Peanut butter then brings necessary protein to the table which helps to optimise muscle repair.

Oatmeal and berries

You can’t go wrong with a warm bowl of oatmeal before exercising. Not only is it great tasting, but it’s a sustainable source of energy, too. This is because oatmeal is considered a complex carb that’s high in fibre. Berries are known to improve reaction times and help to keep us focused during a workout.

Yoghurt and apple

For those pushed for time, this quick-sticks meal is ideal. Yoghurt is a dairy product that provides our bodies with both protein and calcium, so it helps to build muscle and keep our bones strong. Besides ensuring a delicious flavour combination, apples also contain fibre which helps to keep us healthy. Added benefits include improving heart health and regulating the body’s sugar levels.

Nuts and raisins

Whoever said that dynamite comes in small packages wasn’t lying. Case in point: nuts and raisins. Two tiny superfoods with big benefits. Nuts are good sources of fats, fibre, and protein.

All of which, when combined, keep us feeling fuller for longer and stabilise blood sugar levels. Raisins are full of antioxidants and contain natural sugars which give your body little boosts of energy as you work out.

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