One of the biggest mistakes people make is overeating post exercise. It typical goes like this: you got your workout in. You feel like you totally exerted yourself, and now its time for a reward. It's time to eat the food you deserve, because you earned it. Your body will burn those post workout calories away! Wrong. First of all, there is a time and place for recovery foods, and eating after a workout. There is a magical window (typically about 30 minutes) after a workout when your body's metabolism is still up, and you can utilize the nutrients in foods more efficiently. That said, a juicy fatty burger, is still a juicy fatty burger. Fries are still fries. How does this tie back to Pre Workout Snacks? Well, that ravaged, starving, insatiable hunger is often tied to not feeding your body properly before you begin your workout. You do not want to go into a workout with painful pangs of hunger. You also do not want to go into a workout full. 30-60 minutes before heading out for a moderate intensity workout, that is about 1 hour long, eat a light snack that has carbs, but also is well balanced with fiber and/or protein. Carbs are energy. They are used quickly. If you fuel yourself with smart carbs, that's carbs with a good dose of fiber, sugar (energy) will be released into your system at a steadier rate. This means you will be energized throughout your workout, and will avoid that high and crash that would come with just chowing down on something pure sugar. You don't need to eat a lot. Just enough so you can sustain the intensity of your workout. If you are very hungry going into a workout, you may actually be dehydrated as well. Make sure you're ingesting enough fluids throughout your day. You will be surprised how many times hunger is mistaken for thirst. We recommend using a low or zero calorie hydration option like Camelbak Elixr or Skratch Labs Daily Hydration. It's simple. If you go into a workout stronger, you'll be able to workout stronger. If you're tired, hungry and thinking about food throughout the duration of your workout, you won't be able to give the workout the attention it deserves. A few calories pre-workout will actually result in you making greater gains and seeing more results.
One of the most misunderstood (and skipped) meal: The Pre Workout Snack.
What you eat before a training session is an appetizer to your exercise. Make sure you're hydrated. Eat enough to fuel your body. Don't eat more than you plan to burn. Smart PreWorkout Snack are low in fat, nutrient dense, easily digestible, fiber+carbs. Here are some suggestions: Eat This:
Guidelines for Pre Workout Fuel:
- Trailmix with dried fruit: A mix of the protein/fats in trail mix combined with dried fruit is a great filling combination. Don't eat too much, nuts are very nutrient (and calorically) dense.
- Clif Mojo Bar: All though this bar is low in carbs, it is filly and has enough to sustain you through workout. It is more on the savory side.
- Apple Slices with Justin's Nut Butter: Oh the perfect combination. One single serving packet of Justin's is just enough protein/fat to assist the slow burning carbs from the apple. Try eating half the apple before a shorter workout.
- Amrita Endurance Bar or Vega One Vibrancy Bar: Both these bars are made from all organic ingredients and have a great blend of carbs/proteins/fats.
- A small handful of Barnana's
- Beet Elite: Beets are great for a workout, especially when consumed regularly. Beet elite taste great dissolved in water because of its natural flavoring.
- Vega Pre-Wrokout Energizer: If you like the rush of caffeine, or need a pick-me-up to get you stoked on your workout, this mix uses matte and green tea, along with other vitamins to help you supercharge you into a great workout.
- Camelbak Elixer Tablet, Gu Brew, or Clif Electrolyte Mix (drink throughout the day): This zero calorie hydration is great because it gives you all those pesky electrolytes without added calories.
- Skratch Daily Hydration: Skratch flavors are so real, we love them. This low calorie hydration gives you the energy you need from a low serving of calories that won't give you a sugar crash, with a fantastic blend of electrolytes.