If you find yourself fatigued mid-workout, perhaps it’s time you start with a pre-workout snack. This will keep your energy sustained throughout so you can be sure to make the most of your entire session.
Before you go diving into just anything, though, you want to make sure you’re making the right choices for your workout and body. Not every snack will fuel you the right way, so remember two important factors:
- Any snack you have should be low-glycemic; this means that your blood sugar levels won’t spike, giving you a long, steady surge of energy to sustain your entire workout.
- Be sure to include a mix of protein and complex carbs, emphasis on the latter. AskMen.com suggests, “Given that they are your body’s main source of energy, 65% to 70% of the total calories of your pre-workout meal should come from carbs.”
While there are a number of options available to you, consider these three for your next pre-workout snack.
Remembering that your pre-workout snack is just that; a snack. A parfait is a great option for the yogurt loving person. As a light snack, this won’t weigh you down, but give you the right amount of each necessary component to fuel your entire workout. When building your parfait, be sure to include the following:
- Non-fat yogurt – You want to choose something low in calories and sugars.
- Oats, whole grain cereal, plain granola will provide you with the necessary carbohydrates.
- Fruit – This will get your metabolism revved.
If sandwiches are more your cup of tea, there are a number of light options for you to consider; while you shouldn’t build a heaping sub, with layers of meat and cheese, you can certainly enjoy a snack sized portion of your preferred pre-workout meal. These should be simple – giving you just the right amount of calories and nutrients you need, no more.
- Breakfast: A light breakfast sandwich or burrito, eggs, veggies and light cheese, will be the right combination to keep you from burning out mid-workout.
- Bagel: Half a bagel, with peanut butter and banana.
Healthy Energy Bar
If you’re often hitting the gym on the go, grabbing an energy bar may be a convenient way to get your snack. However, not every energy bar should be treated the same, so you’ll need to be smart about the ones you choose. Many energy bars rely on a large amount of sugar and sodium to add flavor to an otherwise dull snack.
However, sodium causes you to hold water – which will be a negative impact on your workout. Sugar, on the other hand, will cause a spike in your blood pressure, giving you only a short bout of energy. To choose the right one, consider these nutrition suggestions.
- Calories: Stick with something in the range of 200-250 calories to keep it light.
- Carbs: Look for 40-50 grams.
- Proteins: You want to get about 10 grams of protein – not too much, but just enough.
Choosing the right pre-workout snack is integral to making the most of your workout. If you don’t find yourself fatigued mid-way, skip the snack. However, if you feel your body needing the extra energy, keep it small, full of carbs with a little protein to increase fat burning.
Photo credit: coreperformance.com