A few weeks ago, you started exercising for the first time in your life. While you’ve been putting forth the effort to go to the gym a few days each week, you are disappointed with your results so far. You just seemingly don’t have the energy required to power through your workouts. If this scenario sounds familiar, you may need to jumpstart your exercise routine with some energizing snacks. The following 6 foods are all good pre-workout options.
6 Snacks to Jumpstart Your Exercise Routine
Out of all of the snacking options in the universe, the banana is perhaps the best pre-workout choice available at the supermarket. The banana is a fast-acting carbohydrate. This type of carbohydrate is easy for your body to digest; therefore, it fuels your body with energy quickly. A banana usually averages around 30 grams of carbohydrates. This sweet, yellow fruit is also a great source of potassium. During an exercise routine, potassium helps sustain your nerve function and muscle. Eating a banana before you jump on the treadmill will also help you stay hydrated during your workout.
Recently, Greek yogurt has exploded in popularity. Your local supermarket shelf is probably loaded with multiple varieties of this healthy snack food. For workout purposes, Greek yogurt is superior to regular yogurt because it typically contains:
- Half the sugar of regular yogurt
- Double the protein of regular yogurt
When shopping for this dairy treat, look for plain Greek yogurt without added sugars. If you’re not a fan of plain yogurt, consider mixing in some:
Sweet Potato and Chicken Breast
Perhaps you typically work out after lunch or dinner. If you exercise after mealtime, you need to consume foods that will provide you with energy without unsettling your stomach. Pairing a sweet potato with a chicken breast is a good choice. The sweet potato is a good source of complex carbohydrates that will give you the energy necessary for a good workout. To add more taste, skip the butter and top your sweet potato with cinnamon instead. The chicken will provide you with the necessary protein for muscle repair after your exercise routine. Always choose grilled, baked, broiled, or boiled chicken breasts instead of fried ones.
If you’re a vegetarian or trying to limit your meat consumption, consider snacking on some chickpeas before heading to the gym. They are loaded with protein and healthy carbohydrates. For a quick snack, rinse a serving of chickpeas and drizzle some lemon juice on them.
If you like to work out in the morning, you may want to try some oatmeal for breakfast. Oatmeal is packed with fiber. This substance causes carbohydrates to be released into your bloodstream slowly. This slow release of carbohydrates can provide you with energy during the entirety of your workout. When shopping for oatmeal, consider selecting slow cooking oats. Add some cinnamon and raisons for added sweetness.
Eggs are also a good pre-workout option. However, you may want to stick to eating only the whites of eggs before exercising. According to Rob Franklin, “The fat in egg yolks is metabolized slowly and therefore is likely to make you feel bloated and sluggish during your workout, so egg whites are a much better pre-workout option. A single egg white provides around 4 grams of protein and no fat.”
For some people, a lack of energy is the biggest obstacle to working out. Thankfully, you can remedy this problem by eating the right snacks before your exercise routine. If your energy levels have been nonexistent when working out lately, grab one or more of the aforementioned 6 food items before heading to gym.