How many times have you showed up at the gym only to be distracted by an all-consuming hunger? Not only does the intensity of your workout suffer, but you may spend your workout focused on all the things you’re going to ingest the second you leave. Without fueling properly before your sweat session, your blood sugar will drop, leading to light-headedness and fatigue. Better pre-exercise nutrition means a better workout and better results.
Instead of noshing on whatever sounds good or is most convenient, go for a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. These five snacks will do the trick.
1. Fruit and yogurt smoothie
If you like to exercise in the morning, this smoothie can double as a snack and breakfast — just make it slightly larger by bulking up the ingredients. Refrigerate the remainder to make a grab-and-go breakfast once you get back from your workout. To make this fiber- and protein-rich snack from Men’s Fitness, grab your blender and toss in 6 ounces of Greek yogurt, 1 cup of raspberries, ½ cup of nonfat milk, and ½ cup of ice cubes. If you use frozen raspberries, you can skip the ice cubes. The Greek yogurt is rich with protein and probiotics that contain good-for-you bacteria to help you better absorb nutrients. Plus, the raspberries are full of fiber and low in calories.
For another pre-workout snack that is geared towards morning workout devotees, a serving of standard oatmeal is a great choice. Oats are full of fiber, which means they gradually release carbohydrates into your bloodstream. According to Men’s Fitness, this helps keep your energy levels consistent throughout your workout. The story also mentioned that the hot cereal contains B vitamins, which help convert carbs into energy. For some extra flavor, sprinkle with cinnamon or top with fresh berries.