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Pre-Workout Foods


Ever wonder what you should eat in order to prepare your body for working out? Some people prefer to eat after their workout, claiming that eating a meal before an intense workout makes them sick or sluggish. If you work out on an empty stomach you can become dizzy and fatigued early. Your body requires substance to continue and endure. And you don’t want to overload your body with food before beginning your routine but you should give your body fuel in order to push through without stopping.

That’s not to say that you MUST eat before a workout. Every person and every BODY is different. Some people can handle fasted workouts while others can’t. I happen to be one of those people that can fast before an early morning workout then eat as soon as I’m done. It all really depends on what time of day you workout. If you plan on exercising mid- morning or any other time during the day, then you’ll need to know how to properly nourish yourself before it’s go time! 

It is recommended that a blend of carbs and protein rich foods be consumed before you begin your daily workout in order to help power through your entire routine and provide nutrients that can help repair muscles afterwards. Here’s a list of foods that can help sustain your energy while working out. Take a look:

  1. Bananas – They are fast-acting carbohydrates that will provide you with usable fuel for a workout, and the potassium found within this delicious fruit aids in maintaining muscle and nerve function. You can have a banana alone or mix it with some peanut butter for additional protein and energy (I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches).
  2. Oats – Did you see our past recipe on Energy Bites? They are bite size and contain oats, which are perfect for a pre-workout snack. Oats have tons of fiber and provide a steady stream of energy throughout your workout.
  3. Caffeine – Caffeine is always controversial but obviously caffeine provides drinkers with more energy and reduces the likelihood of getting fatigued in the middle of your workout. If you’d rather not consume caffeine, I do recommend drinking some water prior to your workout as you want your body to remain hydrated.  Water gives you that “wake up” effect.
  4. Fruit Smoothies - I love my smoothies – especially Green Smoothies! These are a great snack before hitting the weights or cardio (or post workout meal if you include protein like Greek yogurt.) The mix of fruit and juice can be digested quickly to ensure that you have energy from start to finish.  The natural sugars also are a great way to replenish needed sugars lost during a workout.
  5. Chickpeas – Fiber, carbs and protein in one little pea!
  6. Eggs – Eating breakfast before your workout? These bad boys contain a good amount of protein and no fat.
  7. Dried Fruit – Quick and easy way to get carbs and energy into your system before you work out. Be careful though not to consume too much. Too much concentrated sugar easily turns to fat when it’s not burned off.
  8. Whole Grain Toast – We’re talking real whole-grain. Be sure to get from a bakery as often times packaged bread has a million other processed ingredients.  Provides a slow-release of energy that allows you to complete your entire workout without fatigue.  
  9. Chicken Breast with Brown Rice – Do you work out after lunch or dinner? If so, you want to make sure you eat something that is not too heavy and provides fuel without too much fat. Chicken breast and brown rice provide energy and protein and don’t leave you feeling bloated or uncomfortable.
  10. Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt has more protein but less sugar than normal yogurt. It is light on the stomach yet keeps you full with just a few bites; they provide a good boost of energy to help you work out. Check out our yogurt parfait recipe? – it can be an on-the-go snack or a quick breakfast.
  11. Maca - The Peruvian root Maca is a natural supplement that has been seen to increase energy and stamina, among many other health benefits. I put Maca powder in my green smoothies also!

There ya have it! Which one will you choose? Just remember to make sure you nourish yourself so you have the energy and stamina to make it through your work out… the more effort your put in, the better results you’ll get.

Resources: 11 Of The Best Things To Eat Before A Workout


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about Syl, the fit fem

Based in Long Island, New York, Sylvia Nasser is the CEO and Co-President of The Fit Fem Studio, LLC. She offers in-home personal training services to local residents in NY and CT.

Sylvia is also a certified Personal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor through AFAA, and a Holistic Health Coach, accredited through Purchase College, at the State University of New York, as well as The American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP).

Want to learn more about The Fit Fem personal training services? Click Here!

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