A pre-workout or pre-exercise meal is a good way to fuel our body to boost our energy levels and prevent muscle damage. Our body gets the essential nutrients needed for energy metabolism during a workout.
Although some people are in a habit of exercising without consuming any pre-workout drink or snack, eventually, it increases the likelihood of falling sick or getting injured.
In this article, we will talk about some of the foods which may help amplify your athletic performance. A pre-workout snack meal apart from curbing hunger wards off fatigue and helps recover faster.
Banana - Bananas are popularly and fondly consumed as a pre-sport snack. Their high carbohydrate content provides energy and potassium content helps prevent muscle cramps, supports muscle and nerve function. Bananas can be consumed if you want to grab something quick, 30 minutes before your workout.
Oatmeal Porridge - Oats are a great option if looking for a pre-workout meal. They are rich in soluble dietary fibre named beta-glucan, which helps maintain our energy levels as a result of sustained release of carbs in our body. To enhance the nutritive value, you can also add one scoop of protein powder and berries in it. Ideally, you should consume oatmeal porridge approx. 1.5 - 2 hours before your workout.
Fruit Smoothies - Fruit smoothies are yummy and packed with nutrients. One can easily experiment with different fruits and veggies to make smoothies as per their liking. Choose greek yoghurt as it is high in protein and contains few carbs. Blend some fruits in yoghurt to get a perfect combination of healthy carbs and proteins.
Sweet Potato - Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbs which delivers sustained energy for longer duration. This helps prevent our energy levels from dipping, therefore it is perfect to consume before an active workout session. Presence of vitamin A and C makes them a powerful antioxidant in reducing oxidative stress and free radical damage.
Homemade Granola Bars - These bars are nutritious and perfect on the go snack. Unlike packaged bars, homemade bars are economical and not loaded with sugars. Use multigrain cereals, dry fruits, seeds, dates and nut butters to make them. Granola bars are a great fuel source to support your efforts and gain an additional dosage of stamina.
Peanut Butter Sandwich - Peanut butter sandwich is another quick on the go snack. They come with the benefits of proteins and good fats. If you are likely to consume this sandwich 30 minutes before your workout session then choose white bread and spread a thin layer of nut butter on it. For longer gaps, you can go for multigrain breads along with sprinkled chia seeds for additional nutrition.
Beetroot Juice - Beetroot juice works excellent as a pre-workout drink. Beetroot contains dietary nitrates which are converted into nitric oxide in our body. This results in vasodilation and improves oxygen and blood flow to our muscles. It helps increase endurance and provides stamina. So drink a glass of fresh beetroot juice 20-30 minutes before going for exercise.
Grilled Chicken with Rice and Veggies - This combination is more of a complete meal rather than snack. But it is one the favourite options of pro athletes and usually preferred around 2-3 hours before going for a workout session. Presence of amino acids promotes anabolism and carbohydrates provide continuous flow of energy to our muscles. This helps us keep going for longer durations without getting fatigued.
To sum up, pre-workout nutrition is a good way to support efforts which we put in to achieve our fitness goal. Timing of pre-workout meal plays a key role in choosing the food type. A blend of complex carbs and proteins can be opted if you have at least 1-3 hours. This gives sufficient time to our body to digest the meal without causing any stomach discomfort. Simple carbs are ideal to choose 30 minutes before workout for quick digestion and an instant supply for energy. Small simple changes in your diet can work wonders for your health.