Energy-Inducing Strategies to Prep For Your Workout
When you head into a workout, your goal is to feel energized and ready to go. So, how do you ensure you’re ready for peak performance?
Your best bet is whole food solutions and staying hydrated. Read on to find out which foods are best for pre and post-workout, and three tips to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Topping Off Your Tank
If it has been longer than two hours since your last meal, grab a pre-workout snack to top off your tank. Aim to finish your snack about 30-minutes before you work out.
The purpose of this pre-workout snack is to provide energy, minimize muscle breakdown, and help you get fitter and stronger.
A pre-workout snack should contain a sufficient dose of protein and easily digestible carbohydrates.
- Quick and tasty examples include:
- Rice cake with almond butter and jelly spread
- A handful of nuts and a banana
- Non-fat Greek yogurt with berries
- Two hard-boiled eggs on toast
- Protein shake of choice
Depending on the type of workout completed and your schedule, consider an additional post-workout protein and carbohydrate source. Workouts that last an hour or longer and raise your heart rate, such as high-intensity interval training, require replenishment of glycogen stores. If you plan to have a regular meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) after your workout, an additional post-workout snack is unnecessary.
Importance of Hydration
Crack open any sports nutrition textbook to find the recommendation, ”stay well hydrated,” no matter the exercise intensity or length.
Here’s why it’s so important: Blood plasma, which is made up of 90-95% water, is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to working muscles during exercise. If this is low, our exercise performance suffers, and fatigue can set in.
Keep these three tips in mind to stay hydrated throughout the day:
- Aim to drink ½ your body weight (lbs.) in fluid ounces per day. If you weigh 140 pounds, your daily hydration goal is 70 ounces per day.
- Add electrolytes around exercise, especially if you are a heavy sweater. We like brands such as Nuun, LMNT, and Liquid IV.
- Beware of sports drinks high in sugar (anything greater than 10 grams of sugar per 16 ounces). These drinks may lead to dehydration and possible gastrointestinal upset.
Now that we have established the basics of hydration and fueling for movement, let’s get in the kitchen with a few energy-inducing recipes.