This post by Gabby Ouimet about choosing a good pre-workout snack is a part of our fourth-annual Guest Bloggers’ Week. (Check out all of the inspiring, informative, entertaining and life-changing posts here!) Gabby is a 20-something girl with a passion for food and healthy living. She follows a plant-based diet and believes being healthy should be enjoyable and fun! She’s studying at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition to be a holistic nutritionist — stop by veggienook.com for her plant-based, gluten-free recipes and wellness tips!
We all know fueling properly for a workout is important, but exactly HOW should we do it? There are a few key factors to consider when choosing a pre-workout snack…
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Pre-Workout Snack
- The body’s first fuel choice during exercise is carbohydrates, more specifically, simple carbohydrates, that have already been broken down into their simple sugar components of glucose, fructose, etc. So remember to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)!
- Eating large amount of protein isn’t advisable as it requires more water to metabolize. This means more water will be taken from the body, reducing hydration. Protein burned for fuel during exercise will also create toxins, which will create a stress response in the body. Not what you want during exercise!
- A ton of fiber is also not a great since it increases the time it takes to digest glucose.
- You want your snack to be easily digestible. This ensures that less energy is diverted to digesting your food and that less blood goes to your stomach to help digest, leaving more blood to deliver oxygen to your working muscles.
- Your snack should be determined by the workout you’re going to do. I tend to do workouts that are an hour or less or sometimes a class that’s 90 minutes. For exercise up to an hour you want pure carbohydrates, and for longer than an hour you can add in some protein.
- Choose alkalizing foods. The body produces lactic acid during exercise, so eating acid-containing foods will reduce the body’s ability deal with it and lead to muscle stiffness and pain — also creating fatigue! Acidic foods will also create nutritional stress, which will divert energy from the exercise recovery process.
- Eat a complete, well-balanced meal about two hours beforehand and an energizing snack about 30 minutes before.