Before hitting the gym, regardless of your activity or your goal, you will need energy to perform to the best of your ability. People often state that ‘abs are built in the kitchen’, and there’s definitely an element of truth to that.
The food you eat acts as fuel to get you through your workouts and training, so for optimum results and energy, it’s important to think about what you should be eating before you get to it. After all, you wouldn’t drive your car if it didn’t have any petrol in it, would you?
We’ve made a list of some of the best pre-workout foods you can eat to get you focused, pumped and energized for longer.
High in fibre and protein, a bowl of healthy cereal with low fat milk is a great, quick energizer before any workout. You could also add dried fruits and extra nuts too to increase your energy levels, and to fill you up for longer.
Dried fruits and nuts
A handful of unsalted nuts with a mix of dried fruits (such as raisins and sultanas, but in fact any dried fruit you can get hold of) will give you a great burst of energy and source of protein. Check out Graze.co.uk for great varieties.
Omelette with low fat cheese
Eggs are notorious for being one of the best sources of protein available, and adding a small amount (no bigger than a matchbox) of cheese will aid the taste and give you even more energy. For a fuller meal, you could also add onions and a side salad.
Whey protein powder
Protein powder has endless benefits, especially when used as part of a healthy lifestyle combined with a good diet and exercise regime. There are lots of choices available too, such as whey powder from lamuscle.com. A lot of them are suitable for vegetarians, too.
Apple and peanut butter with pita bread
A great, popular snack is apple slices with peanut butter as it provides a great source of energy and protein. You could even put it on whole wheat pita bread to fill you up further, and to increase your fibre intake. If you’re not a fan of peanut butter, low fat hummus is a good alternative and often comes in a variety of flavours.
Salmon or tuna
Seafood, particularly salmon and tuna, is a great source of protein. It’s lean, jam-packed with iron and zinc, and can also be picked up fairly cheaply from most supermarkets. It’s great for repairing muscles after a big workout, too.
When getting into shape, a good food processor can some become one of your best tools, as a fruit smoothie will fill you up and give you loads of energy. You could even add a few scoops of whey powder for extra repair.
Another really easy and simple way to refuel is to grab a tub of low fat Greek yoghurt as you head to the gym, for an on-the-go, high in protein snack.