So, you are getting ready for a fit and fine workout and just then you feel the first pangs of hunger. Of course, it is understood that if you work out on a hungry stomach, your tummy will soon begin to play ‘hunger games’ with you. This we promise can drive you crazy and famished increasing your chances of injury. So leaving Jennifer Lawrence to do what she is good at, we will draw up a logbook of food that you can reach out to before a good sweat session. This will also get the most benefits out of your endurance workout. Whether your ‘sweat-goal’ is to get slim and trim or whether it is to muscle up, fuelling your body with tasty, yummy snacks is a must. Yummy, of course, because your diet need not be boring only because you want to remain fit.
Good to know
As you need sufficient energy to endure a good exercise session, bodybuilders and nutritionist have always suggested a combination of carb and protein as the best mix. Having carbohydrates before a gym session will benefit you by keeping you going for a long time without making you feel tired. Proteins, on the other hand, will take care of those muscles.
So here are some ‘grab and go’ options:
Banana: Don’t say na-na to this precious fruit. Full of potassium and complex carbohydrates, this fruit will give you the energy you are looking for without filling you up. Other types of carbohydrates like toast with peanut butter, granola bar and Greek yoghurt will fuel your body, helping you exercise to your full potential. Remember, munching on carbs before you hit the treadmill ensures that you have that surplus glucose preventing you from feeling weak and fatigued. They are quick to get digested, giving you that much-needed energy.
A plate of fruits: Fruits like apple, pear, berries and such also give you the desired result of “fine for a workout” feeling. If you don’t have time to peel and cut, just take an apple, wash and bite into it. This way you will also get the nutrition of the skin too.
A handful of dry fruits: This is a healthy and one of the best ways to give yourself a sugar high. Chomp on some dry fruits and nuts as you get ready for your workout. Much has already been said about the inherent potency, nutrition of this nature’s goodness. Need we say more?
Protein: Aah, were you waiting for us to say, “and of course protein”. So here we are… Known as a muscle builder, protein works as a backup for your carb. So gulp up a glass of protein shake especially if you are lifting weights and working out towards strength training. Reach out to those that are easily digestible like soya milk, Greek yoghurt, protein bars, whey shake, nuts. Here less is more. Don’t binge on protein.
H2O: Confused? We are talking about our plain paani. It is sensible to keep yourself hydrated before embarking on your sweat session. You don’t have to guzzle down water, just a sip or two will do. Same while you are exercise, “sip, don’t gulp” as George Clooney says in Gravity. This will prevent muscle cramps and low energy especially if you are training in a non- AC environment or having an intense physical training.
When should I eat: It is always best to give your body enough time to digest food before you begin your exercise session. With carbs and protein being the best combination, it is ideal to have this mix an hour before you move your limbs. If you are left with less than an hour before you hit the gym floor, a mini snack of this awesome calorie blend will be ideal. Why less of protein? Protein and fat take time to get digested and absorbed by the body.
Your pre-workout snack should be more of carbs as it is the main boost for energy, but exercise restraint for protein. Your nutrition should be low in fibre and fat as these components are slow to get digested which may cause tummy upset while exercising.
Remember to give your pre-exercise snack enough time for digestion and absorption.