5 Foods to Eat Before Training
If you find you're lacking energy by the time you get to the gym, it probably means one of two things:
- You haven't given your body enough time to recover from your last workout,
- You're not fuelling yourself well enough before you train.
The food you eat before you rock up to the gym can either make or break your session, but it's something many people get wrong, especially in clean eating circles. Here are 5 pre-training snack ideas to keep the energy pumping throughout your next WOD:
1. Coffee and a Banana
If you're short on time, train early in the morning, or plan to head to the gym straight from work, coffee and a banana is one of the most effective choices.
Some hardcore Paleo enthusiasts claim otherwise but, unless you're completely fat-adapted, your body probably needs some carbohydrates before training. This is especially true if you plan to lift heavy, or train at a high intensity.
Not only do bananas contain fast-acting carbohydrates (perfect pre-workout fuel), but they'll provide you with plenty more useful nutrients, too. For example, potassium has been found to improve muscle function. Caffeine has been consistently linked to increased athletic performance and focus.
2. Green Smoothies
Green smoothies are all the rage at the moment, and are another perfect choice when it comes to pre-workout nutrition. They're easily digested, so you don't need to worry about training on a full stomach, but it's easy to create a snack with the perfect balance of macronutrients.
Ideally, you want to get in fast-acting carbohydrates and some protein. If you're going to be training at a low-medium intensity (e.g. a long run), make sure you get some healthy fats in there too, as these have been found to provide a long-lasting source of energy throughout the duration of your workout.
Here's a recipe for you to try:
- One banana,
- A handful of frozen blueberries,
- A handful of spinach,
- A scoop of your favourite protein (ideally unflavoured or vanilla),
- A tablespoon of almond butter,
- Coconut milk.
3. Homemade Trail Mix
Trail mix is another great way to get the full range of pre-workout macronutrients, and you can make a big batch of it so you always have something ready when you need to grab-and-go.
Our favourite homemade trail mix contains almonds, pecans, goji berries, sunflower seeds, dried cherries and biltong. There's an almost limitless number of possible creations, though. Get creative and see what you come up with!
4. Chicken and Brown Rice
Chicken and brown rice is a bodybuilding staple for a reason - it works! If you're training after lunch, this is one of the best things to eat before your session. You'll get plenty of carbohydrates from the rice, which acts as a sustainable energy source, and the chicken will top up your protein to kick start recovery.
Don't eat a full meal too close to training though, you'll need to give your body time to digest it, ideally leaving around an hour in between your lunch and training.
5. Banana Pancakes
To make banana pancakes, blend a banana with two eggs, a couple of tablespoons of oats, and a splash of milk (or coconut milk, if you're dairy-free), and cook them in a frying pan.
Not only do they taste awesome, but they'll give you a decent energy boost, as well as a good serving of protein. If you train in the morning, these are a good breakfast choice as they're easily digested, unlike many traditional breakfast foods. Enjoy them with your morning coffee, or a pre-workout, whichever you prefer!
These are our top choices when it comes to pre-workout snacks, but what are yours? Leave us a comment with your recommendations!
Fuel RX'D - Pre-Workout
Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter