Urgh – you’re hungry and you WANT to fuel your body, but you don’t want to see your breakfast again on the gym floor (seriously GROSS, team – it’s not a badge of honour).
Some people (including me) hate eating just before they workout – cause, you know, I’m busy digesting stuff. BUT eating before your workout can keep your blood sugar steady, and if you’re hungry, then you really should listen to your body. Didn’t you catch my memo about INTUITIVE EATING?
Your muscles use the glucose stored in your muscles for fuel. This comes from CARBS, so you’re going to want to make sure you have some of those, or your output/intensity will diminish as you become depleted.
PROTEIN (alone or with carbs) has been shown to increase muscle synthesis (building) when eaten prior to exercise. I usually aim for between 20-30g per serve for a full meal, and 10-20 for a snack. Heaps of studies have documented the potential of pre-workout protein consumption to improve performance. It’s also shown to be of great benefit within an hour of training, so if you can’t eat before (like me), try to get some in soon after.
What about FAT? Some studies have investigated the effects of fat intake on athletic performance. However, these studies looked at high-fat diets over a long period, rather than prior to exercise. For me, eating something with fat before a workout makes me feel super sluggish and more nauseous, so I steer clear from it, but if you like it, add a bit in for a well-rounded meal or snack.
HERE ARE MY TOP PICKS FOR WHAT TO EAT RIGHT BEFORE A WORKOUT:
Okay, so what’s the right fuel that will give you plenty of energy for cardio and strength training, without withing you down?
Oatmeal, protein powder + blueberries
Whole oats are a delicious complex carb, with heaps of fibre to keep your full and your digestion system healthy too. Mix in your fave protein powder (about 25g will do it), and mix together with water or almond milk. Top it off with a big handful of blueberries and you got some awesome pre-workout fuel!
Tip: go the extra mile and add a dollop of plain Greek yog into the mix too for extra protein and creaminess.
Add a scoop of your fave protein to your blender, a dollop of cottage cheese (trust me!) and a handful of frozen fruit (I love raspberries or mango!). Blend with water or almond milk and you’re good to go! I love adding 1/2 tbsp of psyllium too for extra fibre.
Tip: add some greens powder or collagen too, if you’re feeling extra healthy, and get it done in one!
Wholegrain toast + scrambled eggs
I actually love sourdough, but any brown bread will do (just check there’s no sugar or crap in the ingredients list). Add 2-3 scrambled eggs and you’re fuelled up! If you wanna prep this the night before, soft-boil a carton of eggs in bubbling water for 7 minutes then run under cool water and refrigerate the rest for use during the week).
Greek Yoghurt + Banana + Cinnamon
Grab a bowl of plain greek yoghurt (protein powerhouse) and add some carbs with sliced banana. I love lady finger bananas because they’re a little smaller and sweeter (more sugar = more glucose for muscle fuel). The cinnamon will help to slow the blood-sugar spike, plus it tastes epic, so just do it.
Rice cakes + Cottage Cheese + Chia
If you can find brown rice cakes, you’re laughing. Top with cottage cheese and a sprinkle of chia or even a drizzle of honey if you like stuff sweet. A no-cook, fast snack that won’t leave you feeling weighed down.