I don’t know about most of you, but I have to have a little something before I work out or I will bonk. I know some people claim that they cut more weight working out on an empty stomach, but in my three years of working out regularly I know I get my best workouts when I have some fuel to burn. I will admit when I first started out I would bonk at least once a week and it all had to do with the fact that I was trying to cut my calories and not eat before I worked out. Trust me bonking hurts and once I learned that lesson the hard way I found out that I was not only doing better in my workouts, but also enjoying them a lot more when I was not in an out of energy, feel like puking, lots of pain mode.
So if you want to get the most out of your workout then eat the right foods beforehand. Look at it this way the calories you are eating are small and will fuel your workout and maximize your efforts and results. Also if you fuel correctly you’ll workout harder thereby increasing your results. The way eating before your workout stops bonking (or light headedness and fatigue) is that it prevents low blood sugar. So save yourself the pain and eat something.
So what should you eat? You want to eat something that is going to help you, not make you feel full and sick during your workout.
Shakeology: Of course my favorite food to eat before my workouts is Shakeology. It gives me everything I need and more and does not make me feel too full. If you want to see why Shakeology is so good as a pre-workout meal read this Shakeology.
That said there are some great foods you can eat within an hour before your workout if you want some variety.
Bananas: Bananas are loaded with digestible carbohydrates (fuel) and are packed with potassium, which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function. The body doesn’t store potassium for very long, so a medium banana before a workout will help keep nutrient levels high.
Oats: Oats are full of fiber, which means they gradually release carbohydrates into your bloodstream. This steady stream keeps your energy levels consistent during your workout. Oats also contain B vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates into energy. Help yourself to one cup at least 30 minutes before you begin exercising.
Wholegrain bread: A slice of wholegrain bread is a good source of carbohydrates and you can easily add to it. Top it off with jam or honey for more fuel or add some protein by putting on some peanut butter or a couple slices of turkey.
Fruit smoothies: Fruit smoothies are high in carbohydrates and high-quality protein. The carbs from fruit break down quickly for energy and the protein is used later to prevent muscle damage.
What to avoid: If you’re going to stray from this list, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Be sure to avoid fatty foods before working out. Fat leaves the stomach very slowly, which means you’ll feel full and sluggish. Although carbohydrates are good, you should not get them from raw sugar or candy. Either of those foods will cause a sugar rush and probably a crash while you’re mid-workout. Also, don’t overeat before you work out. These are all snacks, not meal, suggestions. Eating too much can cause sluggishness and nausea.