We have heard and read, regular workout helps keeping body fit and healthy, but we always find it difficult to decide whether we should workout with empty stomach or not? As many says workout with empty stomach burns more fat. You’re not the only one facing this controversial situation; it is one of the most argued tropics in fitness industry. Simple answer to this is to follow what is suitable for your body.
A pre-workout meal is a whole foods meal that falls within 3 hours of your workout. When you eat the right foods in the right amounts as you will learn shortly, these nutrients can offer a number of benefits, including:
1) More Energy during Workouts – Filling up your glycogen stores (body’s energy tank) before a workout can help improve your energy levels significantly during a workout. If you have a very low carb diet, an intense workout can turn out to be very difficult to handle because glycogen stores are low. Energy levels are also affected by sleep patterns, when you have the most energy during the day, and hydration to name a few.
2) Protect Your Hard Earned Muscle – When you work out hard, especially with heavy weights, the body is in a catabolic environment, which can break down muscle tissue to use it as energy. A solid pre-workout meal can prevent muscle breakdown and improve energy repair and recovery.
3) Increased Muscle Growth – Eating protein during your workout meal can help slowly release amino acids into your blood stream, which can promote protein synthesis. If you are breaking down muscle and eating enough calories, muscle growth can be improved.
So if you are someone who opts for eating something before workout, here are some diet food tips for what you should eat and what you should avoid before workout:-
Bananas are rich source of digestible carbohydrates, fiber and potassium, making them nature’s Power bar. Potassium aids muscle and nerve functions. Fiber upon digestion will release carbohydrates and carbohydrates are the necessary fuel for your workout. Eat one or two medium bananas at least before 30-45 minutes before your workout.
Oatmeal contains everything needed for workout – proteins, essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, fibers. Oats digestion takes time; keeping you satisfied and settles well in stomach without giving feeling of bloating. As digestion takes time, it keeps releasing sugar and keeps you energized. Mixing fruits with oatmeal, keep you hydrated throughout workout.
Whole eggs are full of protein along with yolk which is full of essential nutrients. Protein rich snacks before workout is required if you are concentrating on strengthening. Egg yolk improves HDL level in blood thereby protecting your heart.
4) Sprouts & Raisins
Sprouts are highly nutritious and are rich in minerals, proteins, fibers and vitamins. Sprouts contain complex carbohydrate which keeps releasing energy for longer duration. Sprouts should be consumed at least 1-2 hours before workout. Raisins are natural sugar which is preferred over any other form of sugar. Raisins keep you energized before workout.
5) Fruit Juices & Smoothies
Fruit juices and smoothies are ideal for one who doesn’t have much time for preparing snack or breakfast and also one can consume it on the go. Make sure you include fruits like mango, water melon, pineapple, apricots & banana as they are highly-glycemic. One can even consume vegetable juices prepared from vegetables like spinach, aloe vera, cucumber, amla. Water melon also helps you to keep hydrated through workout.
Greek Yogurt is full of high-quality protein which gives protection against muscle damage. You can mix your yogurt with highly-glycemic fruits to increase its nutritional value.
7) Whole grain bread
Good source of carbohydrate and requires no time for preparation. One can combine it with protein rich items like egg, turkey or honey.
Make sure you avoid fatty foods before workout. Fat stays longer in stomach making you sluggish. Avoid overeating, keeping your snack as light as possible. Opting for heavy meals before workout causes sluggishness, indigestion and vomiting like problems.
Below are some of the food item which proved worst for workout and may ruin your session:-
1) Flaxseeds : Though really a healthy for your body as full of fibers but when taken before workout may ruin your session as it causes bloating and gas.
2) Hummus: This bean based food is normally healthy but can cause gas and bloating due to presence of indigestable carbohydrate.
3) High Sodium Food items: Food high in salt like roasted nuts, chips should be avoided as food high in salt can cause fluid inbalance; fluid balance is very much required for workouts.
4) Spicy Food: Eating spicy food right before workout can cause heart burn, in spite of spicy food helps in burning more calories.
5) Foods high in fat: Fats take lot of time in digestion and releasing energy, making you sluggish resulting into your workout to be tiring and long.