So you're heading to the gym after work and you realize you haven't eaten since lunch - what should you do? This scenario happens to everyone, whether you are working out at 5am or 7pm. So how exactly should you fuel your body ahead of an intense workout?
Pre-workout nutrition is an important factor in keeping your energy levels high throughout your workout, while also maximizing your bodies sources of fuel. Like anything, planning ahead will alleviate some of the stressors with this. Having a well-balanced meal 2-3 hours before you get to the gym is ideal. But hey, we all know that may not be realistic sometimes. So lets take a look at what to do when it's crunch time and you need just a littttle something to get you through the workout.
The impression the snacking is bad for you is just absurd. Eating McDonal'ds 3x a week is bad for you, not exercising is bad for you, but having a snack can go a long way (a healthy one that is). When you only have 30-60 minutes until your workout, it is best to choose foods that easily digest and consist are carbs and protein. This will not only prevent an upset stomach during the workout, but will also ensure that your body utilizes the carbs and protein for energy. The glucose from carbs is broken down during high-intensity exercise, making this your muscles' main source of energy (carbs aren't all bad!!!). In addition, consuming protein prior to a workout has benefits ranging from improved performance to enhanced muscle recovery. So, what types of snack fall into this category?
These are just a few examples of snacks that will get you through your next workout. You can get creative, combine some of the above, or add in some additonal nutrients of your choice. I find it best to keep these items on hand (a jar of peanut butter in the gym bag comes in handy), you never know when you'll need some quick fuel!