Easy + Energizing Snacks to Fuel Your Workouts

What to eat or not to eat before a workout? That is the question. It can be difficult to find foods that give your body enough fuel you without weighing you down.

Healthy eating should be simple and fun, so we’ve put together this guide to help you eat well and feel great at the gym.

How long before a workout should you eat?
You probably already know not to eat a full, heavy meal right before working out. It’s a lot for your body to process and may cause discomfort. Meals should be eaten 2-3 hours before a workout.

If you’re eating closer to workout time (within 1-1.5 hours), focus on small bites and snacks. You’ll want to stock up on carbohydrates specifically when eating around 30 minutes beforehand.

What kind of foods should you eat?
Carbohydrates and protein should be the main focuses when snacking before a workout. Fats are important in a balanced diet but don’t offer much benefit immediately before working out.

Your snacks should include foods high in complex carbs (i.e. whole grains, potatoes, fruit). Complex carbs break down slower than simple carbs (i.e. white bread, sugar) which provides your body with long-lasting energy throughout your whole routine.

Protein supports muscle synthesis, which helps your muscles repair and build. Exercising without adequate protein may even lead to muscle loss, so it’s important to ensure you’re consuming enough before and after your workout.

What are some snack ideas?

  1. Oatmeal – Typically, less-processed oat varieties will release carbohydrates slower and fuel you longer. Steel cut and old-fashioned oats are your best bet. Pair with nut butter and fruit to add protein and sweetness.
  2. Fruit – Bananas are high-carb and contain potassium, which supports muscle health and helps avoid cramps. Apples provide as much energy as a cup of coffee, and their fiber content helps carbohydrates break down slower.
  3. Whole grain toast/PBJ – Whole grain bread is a great source of complex carbohydrates. Pair it with nut butter and/or fruit for balance. Even a simple PBJ sandwich will have all the nutrients you need to fuel you for a workout.
  4. Trail mix – Try to stick to those that are more fruit and nut based. Trail mix is an amazing mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and some healthy fats.
  5. Unsweetened yogurt – Greek yogurts are high in protein and easily pair with carbs like fruits and granola. Unsweetened is best to avoid a blood sugar spike or upset stomach.

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