How to: Fuel Up for Your Workout!

Otherwise how can you expect your body to function optimally and kill that workout?

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all wrapping September up with a bang! It’s so hard to even think that a month has flown by so quickly – I’ll admit between classes, work, and nutrition club things have been a little crazy for me. Looks like that rest from summer I thought I was going to get isn’t quite happening 😛

Anyways, last week I mentioned I wanted to do a little bit of a workout-centric theme over the next few posts, and here we’ve got another installment!

Fueling before your workout may not be something you like to do. I know there’s people who don’t like to eat anything before they workout because it upsets their stomach or its just too early to eat or they’re doing fasted cardio. I feel ya, trust me. But for myself, I can’t go into a workout strong unless I’ve eaten something beforehand if we’re talking about the AM. Normally I workout later in the day so I’ve already had breakfast or lunch. But I digress.

The goal of fueling up before a workout is to give yourself the proper nutrients to sustain your energy for the length of your workout so you can push it hard. To half-ass a workout is to waste a workout, in my opinion. And keeping your energy up is a great way to prevent half-assing a workout (who would’ve ever come up with that?). So while you want to fuel up and have the energy to complete your HIIT, yoga, run, etc., you definitely want to make sure you’re not eating a ton right before you start doing a bunch of burpees. No one wants to get sick, am I right?

Fuel UpSo, what should you keep in mind if you want to eat/drink something before you workout?

  1. Do drink at least some water before you hit the gym. Water is essential to keeping all of our body parts functioning smoothly, our joints lubricated, and just making sure we don’t get dehydrated from sweating it out. Don’t guzzle right before a workout, but at least make sure you have either a little bit of water before a workout, or stay hydrated throughout the day. And definitely have water beside you as you workout too!
  2. Have something light, but high in carbohydrates. Avoiding carbs to lose weight is not the way to go. When you workout, even if you want to burn fat, carbohydrates are the kindling that begins that fuel burn. Your pre-workout fuel can include all of your macronutrients, especially if it will be a long-duration exercise. Here are some examples:
    1. Bananas, apples, grapes, etc. Any kind of fruit is generally a good thing to have before a workout if its early in the AM and you can’t stomach much more.
    2. Toast with peanut butter and slices of fruit. You’ve got some carbs, a little protein, and a little bit of fat to sustain you during a workout, and it’s still a light snack so it won’t upset your stomach.
    3. Granola bars are quick, grab-and-go kinds of snacks that can give you the energy you need to sweat it out.
    4. Energy balls made with different ingredients that combine carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
    5. Smoothies. Easy to drink, easy to digest, and a burst of energy that gets you through.
  3. If you’re eating something try to do it more than thirty minutes ahead of your workout. You don’t want to eat something and workout two seconds later on a stomach with food in it. It’s a recipe that just doesn’t end well if you’re like me.

Fuel Up2I hope this helps some of you with how to properly fuel up for a workout to have the energy to kill it, and to not feel sick while you do it. Basically: stay hydrated, eat something light but high in carbs (or a good balance of the macronutrients for a longer workout), and don’t eat too soon beforehand. And then you’ll be on your way to a successful workout!

Here’s a couple ideas for snack is you’re looking for some!

Fuel Up3Hit it hard everybody, and have a great week!

Image Credit: Image 1 (www.theswimmerscircle.com); Image 2 (elitenutritionandperformance.com); Image 3 (www.pinterest.com)

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