Ever found it difficult to perform well during a workout session? Don't worry, you're not alone. A major reason for this to happen is because of the lack of proper foods that you consume before you exercise. Some foods naturally make you experience fatigue and lethargy while others work spot on to amp up your energy levels during a workout session. That's the reason why so much thought is put into pre-workout meals as eating the right kind of food before you hit the gym only defines how your mind and body feel while being super active. But before we give you a list of pre-workout meals, here's a little about what they exactly are.
What is a Pre-Workout Meal?
A pre-workout meal is a combination of food items that are easy to digest and contain mostly carbs and protein. A pre-workout meal should be consumed 45-60 minutes before you work out so that you don't feel uncomfortable during exercise. A full meal is supposed to be eaten two to three hours before you work out.
Benefits of Pre-Workout Meals:
You need to get a little insight into the health benefits of pre-workout meals so as to understand what to include in these meals.
1. It Improves Strength:
Best pre-workout meals are supposed to improve your overall body strength. Foods that combine as pre-workout meals are meant to kick off certain chemical reactions in your body that have the ability to set off stored energy cells. This ultimately makes you feel stronger and boosts your body's metabolic activity which improves your performance during a workout session.
2. It Improves Blood Flow:
Pre-workout meals are also beneficial for improving the concentration of oxygen within your muscles and for increasing blood flow. You can also get pre-workout supplements formulated with compounds like dietary nitrates, I-arginine, and citrulline that can indirectly stimulate nitric oxide production in your body. This is regarded as an effective way to purify your blood flow as well.
3. It Boosts Muscle Gain:
Foods rich in vitamins are included in pre-workout meals so that they can help you gain muscles. A lot of pre-workout drinks are made of high amounts of branched-chain amino acids like leucine and valine. Both of these components can support your body's protein synthesis.
Best Pre-workout Meals:
Now that you know the benefits of consuming pre-workout meals, here is a list of some of the best pre-workout meals that you can incorporate into your diet.
1. Pre-Workout Meal for Weight Loss:
The easiest and simplest pre-workout meal for weight loss is oatmeal. It is rich in fiber which will release carbs in your bloodstream gradually. Oatmeal is quite a light pre-workout meal that won't cause bloating or gas, which makes it so much better to eat before a workout. Since it has a steady stream of carbs it can keep you energized throughout your workout session. If you wish to try this pre-workout meal, we recommend you invest in Saffola Fittify High Protein Steel Cut Oats. These are made from 100% natural whole-grain oats and make for an excellent source of protein as well as fiber. They are rich in vitamin B1, phosphorus, and iron, which makes oats the perfect option for your daily breakfast when you're trying to slim down.
2. Pre-Workout Meal for Weight Gain:
A banana smoothie works really well as a pre-workout meal for weight gain. Bananas are rich in calories and carbohydrates (1). Hence, when you incorporate this fruit into your daily diet before your workout sessions, you can reach your goal sooner. Along with bananas, blend some almonds, white oats, dates, peanut butter, milk, and coconut flakes. This will make it one of the best pre-workout meals that you can sip on for weight gain.
3. Pre-Workout Meal for Muscle Gain:
Many of you who regularly hit the gym might be aware of this pre-workout meal for muscle gain - egg whites and toast. Egg whites are quite popular for muscle gain as they are fast-digesting protein sources. You're supposed to consume protein as close to your workout as possible so that you don't end up feeling lethargic during your session. Consuming egg whites with toast gives you a great number of carbohydrates and proteins. Also, choose white bread over wheat bread as the former is a fast-digesting carb that will help greatly as a pre-workout meal for muscle gain.
Other Pre-Workout Foods to Consider:
Other than pre-workout meals, you can also consume the below-mentioned foods that will keep your energy levels high throughout your time at the gym.
1. Dried Fruits:
These are rich in carbohydrates and can be digested easily, which is why they work phenomenally as pre-workout munchies (2). Dried fruits are easily available and you can a handful of them a few minutes before your workout session.
Coffee can also make for a great pre-workout drink as it is packed with fat-burning properties (3). You can sip on a cup of coffee before you go to the gym energy source is converted from fat cells that ultimately help you shed some kilos. So a cup of black coffee really helps you perform best during a workout.
3. Apple and Peanut Butter:
This combination is not only tasty but also a healthy option as a pre-workout food. If you're on a calorie-restricted diet or watching your carb intake, sliced apples with peanut butter can serve as the best pre-workout food for you as it provides you with lots of protein through peanut butter along with nutrients from apples. Speaking of peanut butter, we insist you try Saffola Fittify Whey Protein - Unsweetened - Peanut Butter. It is made from the finest quality peanuts and is powdered with a richness of high protein and fiber.
4. Homemade Protein Bars:
These are easy to make and you are in control of all the ingredients that go into protein bars. Make sure to choose the ones that are high in carbohydrates and protein or low in both of these, as per your liking. Protein bars are versatile as they can be made out of any kind of nuts, seeds, or dried fruits with a drizzle of chocolate even.
5. Grilled Chicken, Broccoli, And Sweet Potato:
You must try this combination if you're willing to build muscle mass or wish to indulge in hard-circuit training. Pro-athletes never skip on grilled chicken, broccoli, and sweet potato as it improves overall health. This combination is packed with iron that can improve blood circulation, keep your muscles functioning appropriately and promote brain health among other things.
Other than pre-workout meals and food items, you can try some pre-workout supplements. We urge you to invest in the Saffola Fittify The Perfekt Gummies For Daily Energy Boost Multi Vitamins & Minerals. These gummies are enriched with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and zinc that help bridge the nutrition gap in your diet.
When you're regularly working out, optimizing your nutrition game is of utmost importance. No amount of training at the gym is going to help if your overall eating habits are off the charts. So make sure you choose the best pre-workout meals and other foods throughout the day that work in your favor. Experiment with different combinations of food items that are high in carbs, protein, and fiber to know what works best for your type of body, weight, and health goals.
What not to eat before a workout?
Try to avoid these items before a workout:
- Fizzy drinks
- Refined sugar
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Spicy foods
Can I work out on an empty stomach?
Working out on an empty stomach can make you feel lightheaded, nauseous, or shaky. Your body might also get used to using fat reserves for energy and start to store even more fat than usual. Hence, it is not advised to work out on an empty stomach. Instead, have pre-workout meals that can keep you energized throughout your session.
Is it good to take a pre-workout supplement?
Pre-workout supplements are meant to revitalize energy levels and physical performance. Most pre-workout supplements are safe for consumption but natural foods are recommended over supplements.
Can pre-workout supplements be harmful to your heart?
Many pre-workout supplements contain a lot of caffeine that will surely improve your performance at the gym but also put you at risk of high blood pressure and heart attack in people suffering from coronary disease.
Who should not take pre-workout supplements?
People with heart conditions or high blood pressure should avoid using pre-workout supplements.
Can pre-workout supplements cause anxiety?