With the view that body and fuel go hand in hand, ensuring your body is fuelled with the right nutrients is key for an effective training session. But the perfect pre-workout plate is different for everyone and has a lot to do with the intensity and timing of the session, your goals as well as your individual tolerances.
For instance, lighter workouts that will last less than 60 minutes will likely not need to be fuelled by a snack and eating before could, in fact, leave you feeling sluggish and sick, rather than rejuvenated and ready. So long as your diet is healthy and balanced, and meals are of sufficient size.
Similarly, for high-intensity workouts or for those with a goal of gaining weight, a snack before you begin your session will keep you on track and energised.
So, with that in mind, here are some of the best snacks for an effective workout.
This three-ingredient, self-explanatory recipe contains around 360 calories and is the ideal snack to eat one hour before a workout.
Before an intense session, you want to be loading up on carbohydrates for a slow and sustainable release of energy that will get you through the workout. Making the sandwich with whole wheat bread provides a good source of carbs, whilst the peanut butter is a healthy, unsaturated fat, which also provides long-term fuel.
Bananas are also high in carbohydrates, particularly when compared to other fruits. But, as well as this, their potassium content helps to avoid cramping, which can hinder performance and ability.
Smoothies are a quick and easy pre-workout snack. There really are no rules for the perfect fruit smoothie recipe either. Simply throw together some healthy ingredients, blend and enjoy.
Different fruits are packed with different nutrients. But the most common benefit is their energy contents. Like carbs, this helps to fuel you through the workout.
If you’re after some inspiration for your pre-workout smoothie, look no further. Here are two tried and tested recipes that are full of flavour and fuel.
For an extra bit of boost, you can also add a scoop of protein powder.
Another great pre-workout snack is a bowl of oats. This is best when consumed two hours before your session. Oats are a source of carbohydrates, providing a slow release of energy, which is ideal for maintaining performance during longer workout sessions.
Pack your oats with fruits, seeds or protein powder for an even more impactful snack.
Your pre-workout snack can also be savoury. Carrot sticks dipped in hummus provide a source of protein, which keeps the body fuelled by delivering vital nutrients and oxygen to the bones as you train. This is particularly important if you are going to lift weights and have muscle gain goals.
Protein should also be consumed after a workout for muscle recovery and repair.
Although not a snack to tackle hunger, pre-workout powders are a great way to fuel a high-intensity workout. Containing caffeine, whey isolate and various other vitamins and nutrients, pre-workouts sharpen focus, increase endurance and boost energy levels, ensuring you have the most effective session.
The powder formulas can be infused with water, which helps you to stay hydrated too.
So, before you take on your next intense training session, try fuelling your body with one of these quick and easy pre-workout snacks. With your body fuelled correctly, your mind can focus on achieving the best results, making for a more effective session.
For more pre-workout fuel ideas, why not try our meal plans?
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