Made some new year resolutions and looking to properly start a regular workout regime? Or are you thinking of improving your current workout for better results?
Regardless of which one you’re after, you’ll probably want to get the most out of your workout — that’s where nutrition comes in. Nutrition and exercise go hand-in-hand. What and when you eat can significantly affect your workout experience.
A pre-workout meal helps to provide the energy your body needs for the workout itself. So before you even get started on burning those calories, it’s important to first understand what you should consume, which will be beneficial for your body.
Getting your pre-workout nutrition plans wrong can lead to fatigue, reduced speed, reduced endurance, decreased concentration and decision-making skills, and more. That’s not good at all, and you certainly don’t want to be experiencing them.
Rather than turning to energy drinks for a boost (which comes with many side effects), opt for natural pre-workout foods instead! Here are some you should consider:
Bananas have no doubt been a hot favourite when it comes to pre-workout meals. They’ve been a staple source of energy for many athletes and workout enthusiasts. Bananas contain a healthy blend of natural sugars, and nutrients such as magnesium, fibre, potassium, and B6.
And according to a study done by the Appalachian State University, they’ve been found to bring the body much more benefits than energy drinks. As a healthier carbohydrate source, it supports athletic performance just as well as a sports drink, but without all the artificial flavourings.
You know the classic — an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But did you know it keeps exhaustion at bay too? Thanks to their natural sugar content, apples prompt a slow release of vitamins in the body.
The energy you get from apples is also not as short-lived as what you get from a coffee or energy drink. It keeps you energised over a longer period of time, as compared to a quick energy spike that coffee gives. So the next time you reach for a cuppa before your workout, why not grab an apple instead? It’s definitely a much healthier pre-workout alternative!
Planning on engaging in a rigorous workout? Oats have a high content of carbs, which keeps you energised. It’s also a rich source of fibre, which ensures the gradual release of sugar into your bloodstream, keeping you energised and satiated for longer, boosting your stamina. We’d recommend consuming them an hour or two prior to your workout!
Fancy a sandwich? Here’s a combination you might like. Grab some whole wheat bread along with two hard boiled eggs (yolk removed), and enjoy. Whole wheat bread gives your body energy to fuel your workout, while the eggs have protein which helps with muscle-building and repair.
If eggs aren’t really your thing, you can try peanut butter sandwiches instead! Like we mentioned previously, carbohydrates from bread help to raise your energy levels, while peanut butter gives you a good dose of protein. You’ll be ready to hit the squat racks and lift some weights in a good half hour after eating.
For the ultimate pre-workout snack, Greek yoghurt should be your go-to. They contain tons of protein — twice as much as regular yoghurt, in fact. To make it even more delicious, have it with some muesli. With a combination of nuts, fruit, wheat flakes and oats, muesli is high in fibre and whole grains, producing small spikes in blood sugar and keeps you energised for longer.
Smoothies are one of the easiest pre-workout food options — not to mention incredibly delicious too! They nourish the body with the two most important pre-workout macronutrients; carbohydrates and protein. Plus they’re incredibly easy and fuss-free to make.
You can create your own favourite combination and fuel your body with this energising beverage to supercharge your workout. From bananas to strawberries, blueberries and avocados, the sky’s the limit with the type of flavours you can make.
Aside from healthy foods, vitamin supplements that are tailored to your needs can help boost your energy for exercise. Here are some vitamins and minerals from Vitable that you can consider for an added energy boost for your workouts:
Iron is an essential component of many biochemical functions in our bodies, such as oxygen transport, energy production, and DNA synthesis. Taking iron supplements can help maintain and support energy production, perfect for your workout needs.
*Iron should only be taken if prescribed by your doctor.
Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. Traditionally, Ashwagandha has been used to promote energy levels, as it has mild anxiety-reducing effects that can help improve energy levels and promote overall health.
Magnesium is naturally present in our bodies, and is essential in many enzyme systems that are responsible for the growth and production of energy. Consuming magnesium supplements can help your body support your pre-workout nutrition needs.
Vitamin B complex contains 7 essential B group vitamins, which helps with carbohydrate metabolism and supports energy levels. If you consume alcohol frequently, it may cause a depletion of B vitamins in the body, which doesn’t bode well for your workout. Ensure that you have good levels of B vitamins in the body with vitamin B complex supplements.
Acetyl L-carnitine can be found in nearly every cell in our body, and plays an important role in energy production. It transports the necessary fatty acids to produce energy, and is concentrated in tissues like skeletal and cardiac muscles necessary for exercise. It supports muscle performance and endurance, which is exactly what you need for your workout.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is involved in many metabolic functions in the body. But although our bodies can produce vitamin C, if you feel like you need energy support, supplements can help with energy production.
Be sure to properly hydrate before, during, and after workouts. Staying active can be fun and healthy if you have the time to focus on what works best for you. You can achieve this by consuming natural pre-workout foods for the best nutrition, and combine it with supplements for your energy needs.
Did you know? Vitable offers a multivitamin subscription. All you have to do is complete a short online quiz, and you’ll get a vitamin combination personalised to your unique health needs (from over 1.2 million possible combinations) — how amazing is that?
Get home-compostable daily packs containing your vitamins delivered straight to your doorstep monthly, so you can get the energy boost you need.
Find out more about the supplements we’ve mentioned:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.