What you fuel with before your workout makes all the difference in the effort you put out during your workout, whether you’re going for a run, taking a spin class or stretching at yoga. A blend of simple and complex carbs, and sometimes a little bit of protein will energize your workout.
What Types of Foods Should I Eat Pre-Workout?
- Complex Carbohydrates: Complex low-glycemic carbs are slow releasing so will sustain you through the duration of your workout, instead of causing you to burn-out half way through.
- Simple Carbs: Simple carbs (or high-glycemic carbs), are converted to sugar quickly in the body providing an immediate surge of energy. These simple carbs help to immediately fuel your work outs. Pairing high- and low-glycemic carbs together will give you an instant burst of energy, while sustaining you throughout the workout
- Optional: Protein: For lower intensity workouts, you may want to add a small amount of protein to snack 30 minutes before your workout. This will help to sustain your energy, as well as provide amino acids for your muscles during your workout.
These are my favorite pre-workout energy boosts to get the most from your workouts!
1.) Sweet Potato with Coconut Oil and Cinnamon
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates helping to fuel workouts. They are also rich in vitamin C, which helps to combat the physical stress of exercise and helps to boost metabolism during workouts. I like to eat sweet potatoes with coconut oil for medium chain triglycerides, which make it easily absorbable by the small intestine for energy. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
2.) Plant-Based Pre-Workout Powder
If you need something right before your workout to really boost your energy, the simplest and most effective solution I’ve found is Vega Pre-Workout Energizer. Just mixing it with water and drinking it 20 minutes before gives you ALL the energy you need to fuel your workouts! It contains caffeine and antioxidants from yerba maté and green tea, to help to boost energy, mental focus and endurance. Besides caffeine, high-glycemic sprouted whole grain brown rice syrup provides an immediate release of energy. When paired with low-glycemic coconut palm nectar, the result is both immediate and sustained energy. Plus it contains rhodiola and ginseng, two adaptogenic herbs that help relieve symptoms of stress, fatigue and weakness, helping to enhance physical endurance. Mix one scoop with water 20 minutes before your workout, and you’re good to go!
3.) Sprouted Grain Bread with Almond Butter, Apple Butter and a Cup of Green Tea
Although it looks and tastes like regular sliced bread – spouted grain breads trump any bread in terms of the nutrients and digestion! Sprouting a grain activates the grain’s enzymes and increases the nutritional profile of the grain. Almond butter provides a great source or protein and healthy fats to sustain energy during your workouts, while the apple butter helps to provide an immediate source of energy. Pair it with a cup of green tea for an extra boost of energy.
4.) Oatmeal + Plant-Based Protein + Tart cherries
Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast. It could make a great pre-workout snack any time of day. Oats are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates required to fuel your workout. I like to add in a 1/3 scoop of Vega Sport Performance Protein for BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids). Because BCAAs are not metabolized in the liver (like other amino acids), they are sent directly to the muscle for building and repair, or be immediately used as fuel – significantly increasing muscle energy and endurance during your workout. I recommend taking BCAAs both before and after your workout. Finally, top your oatmeal with a few banana slices and tart cherries, for an antioxidant boost.
5.) Hummus with Red Pepper Wedges
If you’re looking for snack to boost energy and satisfy your hunger, hummus with red pepper slices is one of my favorites. Hummus is a good source of protein, carbs and iron providing sustainable energy. Iron deficiency is a significant cause of fatigue, low energy, and anemia, especially in pre-menopausal women. Pairing iron-rich foods with foods rich in vitamin C, such as red peppers, helps to increase the absorption of iron.
Want more? For a free running nutrition and fueling plan, as well as delicious functional recipes and articles by health experts, visit VegaSport.com.
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