Our body works exactly like a machine that requires fuel for running. Therefore, pre-workout foods must be rich in carbs, lean proteins, fibers and healthy fats that help the muscles to endure the hardships of high intensity exercises. Carbohydrates and proteins must be consumed in 4:1 ratio. With so many varieties of energy drinks, bars, powders and supplements available in the market, we are confronted with yet another dilemma. But what if it was possible to get all the necessary carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats from a well-planned diet? Here is a list of few nutritious foods that you can eat before and after your daily workout session in order to make the most out of it.
Oatmeal is a super food that is packed with carbs, proteins, minerals, essential fatty acids and it is a great source of fibers as well. Oats is complete pre-workout food for those who hit the gym in the morning when you don't have time to eat breakfast 1-2 hours before the workout. Oats settle well without giving you a bloated feeling and takes time to digest thereby keeping you satiated for longer slowly releasing sugar into the blood stream. Addition of fruits and berries will help you keep hydrated throughout the workout.
Sprouts and Legumes:
Sprouts and legumes are one of the healthiest snacks that are highly nutritious. Sprouts are rich in vitamin K and C, proteins, fibers and minerals. Sprouts are loaded with complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down thereby releasing energy for a longer period of time. This makes it ideal for consumption 1-2 hours before the workout.
Fruit smoothness is ideal pre-workout snack when you are running short of time. It takes seconds to prepare and you can have it on the go. Opt for fruits with high glycaemic index such as mango, banana, pineapple, and watermelon. The carbohydrates present in the fruits breakdown rapidly to supply energy during workout while the proteins help in checking muscle damage.
Bananas act as powerhouse of fuel that helps the body to function effectively throughout the day. It's a great source of carbohydrates, potassium and manganese that helps prevent muscle cramps, helps wound healing and increases bone strength and endurance. Eat a banana along with a cup of yogurt at least an hour before hitting the gym for optimal result.
Whole Grain Bread:
Whole grain bread is one of most mess-free sources of carbohydrate that requires absolutely no time to prepare and can be coupled with some great protein sources such as hard boiled eggs, few turkey slices or honey. It is an ideal pre-workout snack to develop muscles.
Greek yogurt is packed with protein, almost double than regular yogurt that keeps the muscles energized throughout the workout. In addition, it is easy to digest and therefore ideal for the days when you feel like pumping the iron or go for intense exercises. It is easily digestible and therefore ideal for those with sensitive stomach. It is also a great source of carbohydrates that make up for the pre-workout energy requirements.
The good old eggs are one of the richest sources of proteins and minerals. It is easy and quick to prepare and great to eat. You can either have them hard boiled or scrambled. And yes, you can have the yolk as well because it improves the level of HDL in blood level thereby protecting the heart.
Research shows that caffeine before exercise can actually enhance performance by supplying energy to the muscles. Caffeine signals the muscles to burn stored fats rather that carbohydrates for extracting energy. Caffeine also helps prevent muscle soreness post-workout. Although caffeine is present in various sports drinks, tea and chocolate, but its better have a cup of black coffee before you hit the gym in order to boost up energy. Try avoiding caffeine at late night because it hinders with proper sleep and sound sleep is very important for a healthy body.