You are an active gymer, so you should have understood the importance of being full of energy before hitting to the gym.
Right food that is low in fat but high in carbohydrates and protein can help you keep the level of energy up and continue cycling on stationary bike or keep on lifting with those dumbbells or weights until your workout routine finishes.
While oatmeal, banana, Greek yogurt, wheat toast or cottage cheese can be excellent choices and great sources of fuel for gymers as perfect pre-workout snacks, there are some food that are normally appear in our daily diet but will surely weigh you down during exercises.
Actually, even if you are not trying to shape up, you still need to stay away from food that contains lots of fat such as burgers, French fries, pizza, etc.
Those food can be tasty but they should never ever be on the list of gymers’ diet. Fat takes too long time for your body to digest and thus make you feel full, slow you down and sometimes cause muscle cramps.
Most of our favourite drinks like store-bought smoothies, coke, whipped coffee drinks are way too much sugar which can make you weigh down and cause you to sugar rush or crash later during your workout.
Instead, preparing for yourself a glass of smoothie with real fruit, protein powder and no extra sugar will be a better idea if you want to have a nutritious drink before exercising.
You might be surprised that your healthy creamy smooth hummus could be a terrible choice right before your workout.
Even the bean-based foods like hummus contain a great source of protein, but they are also high in indigestible carbohydrates that can cause you uncomfortable gas and/ or bloating when you are mid-workout.
Salad or raw vegetables
While salad and vegetables are advised for a healthy diet, you really need to consider carefully before eating those raw greens as your pre-workout foods.
Due to their high-fiber content which can slow down digestion, consuming salad could probably lead to gas or bloating that creates discomfort and makes you feel sluggish when you are on the move.
Despite the fact that nuts are great for snacking (and some of them such as Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, etc. are suggested for weight loss), we need to avoid eating high sodium foods such roasted nuts.
With very high amount of salt and oil containing in roasted nuts, the delicate balance of fluids which is required for workouts can be disrupted and leave you dehydrated. Choose organic plain raw nuts instead and you will have a good preparation for your workout.
Spicy foods such as Pad Thai or Mexican foods should not be eaten right before workout. Foods with much flavor and seasoning inside require such a long time to digest in your stomach, which will slow you down and cause heartburn during your workout.
Instead, egg whites and chicken breast are much better pre-workout options.
Protein bars can be found easily in the market and be picked usually by people who are busy and might only get something on-the-way. But you need to stop for a while to take a serious look at their nutrition fact.
Many protein bars have more than 200 calories and less than 10 grams protein, which is no better than a candy bar. This could cause a sugar drop in blood and make you feel more tired during your workout.
If protein bars are the only thing you can find, make sure to take the one with the protein and sugar ratio of 1:1.
In conclusion, your pre-workout snacks should be low in fat and fiber, moderate in protein and carbs, high in fluids to support your workout efficiently.
Also, don’t overeat and you should fuel up at least 30 minutes before your workout (the specific time depends on each food). Eating too much and too closed to your workout will lead to indigestion, sluggishness and nausea.