I’ve been researching the best way to eat pre-workout for the last few weeks. It has not been an easy task but it has been very informative.
First thing to announce is that CARBS ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY! That being said, does not mean you should go load up on doughnuts or sugar cookies. Nutrient dense carbohydrates like whole grain or fruits and veggies are the way to go. You’re body needs carbs for quick energy. I love this lady’s list of good carbs.
Second, Protein is good too! The recommended amount for protein is between 0.66 and 0.80 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. That’s about 54 grams of protein a day for a 150-pound adult. If you are exercising daily you’re intake should be almost double that because you’re repairing and building muscle. If you’re not exercising keep in mind that protein turns in to fat if it isn’t utilized! Check out this website for a great list of how much protein is in all types of meats and things. (I’m not an advocate for low carb diets, just a great breakdown).
If you like to exercise in the morning, like I do, you need to keep in mind that you’re body is running on zero energy. Breakfast is a MUST!
It is recommended that you have a meal that consists of 75-100% carbs 20 minutes before your workout. If you’re going to workout longer than 40 minutes you should add on no more than 20g of protein. It will really weigh you down. You don’t want to loose your breakfast at the gym do you?
It is a good rule of thumb, the longer your food has to break down before a workout the more “solid” it can be. If you have a few hours before you feel the burn you can enjoy a steak and some good healthy carbs like broccoli(my kids are shaking their heads at that one).
My favorite breakfasts:
Oatmeal with a half cup of frozen raspberries and a scoop of protein powder. Most people say oatmeal with some eggs on the side but I’m a one pan kinda girl.
Slice of toast and two scrambled egg whites. I usually do two poached cause I’m not big on just whites but I’m trying.
Whole grain toast and almond butter or your nut butter of choice for longer workouts.
Plain Greek yogurt(or vanilla, if you can’t hang with plain) with a half cup of frozen raspberries and a half cup of granola. Fyi: Greek yogurt has a higher protein content than regular yogurt.
(Note: They all have some sort of grain, best for morning workouts cause it’s a slow burn. You’ll hopefully have a little energy left after your workout).
Apples with nut butter, yum!
Banana with nut butter.
Protein bar with under 20g protein.
Traditional PB&J on whole grain bread, maybe avoid the jam and sub a banana.
Humus with pretzels, I love the roasted red pepper kind.
String cheese and a half a cup of grapes.
It’s best to have fruit and vegetable based carbs with afternoon workouts because they breakdown faster and give you a faster boost of energy than the grains.
Aim for lean protein and clean carbs to help get your workout started on the right foot. Until next-time…
I will be working on post workout meals next week, so be sure to check back!