One of the most critical times to pay attention to your nutritional needs is prior to a workout.
Inappropriate fuel for your exercise routine can result in the breakdown of muscle tissue and may even make you more prone to injury. This is especially true if you exercise in the morning, when blood sugar levels are typically at their lowest.
Prior to a workout, consuming carbohydrates to top off your muscle energy stores (glycogen) combined with smaller amounts of protein to help protect muscle and reduce post-exercise muscle soreness is the primary goal. Keep these snacks lower in fat and fibre to help avoid common digestive problems such as cramping and nausea.
PRE-EXERCISE PORTABLE SNACKS
Apple + String Cheese
Banana + Almonds
Non-fat Milk + Granola Bar
Dried Fruit + Nut Mix
Whole-wheat Crackers + Peanut Butter
Following a workout, the body needs appropriate fuel to help muscles rebuild and repair. Nutritional goals are similar to pre-exercise needs in terms of carbohydrate replenishment, but these snacks may be a bit higher in protein to aid muscle recovery.
POST-EXERCISE PORTABLE SNACKS
One-half Roast Beef Sandwich
Lean Deli Ham + Grapes
Hard-boiled Egg + Wheat Crackers
Small Turkey Wrap
Beef Jerky + Orange Slices
In addition to the right foods, proper hydration is critical. Although individual fluid requirements vary, it’s best to stay well hydrated before, during and after workouts. As the intensity and duration of your workouts increase, so does your need to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.
Therefore, you may want to consider utilizing a thirst-quenching sports drink for a portion of your fluid replenishment for super-intense workouts or those lasting longer than 60 minutes. In addition to replenishing fluids, this practice will help keep your body functioning at peak performance and contribute to the overall success of your workout efforts.