Not sure what to eat before you exercise?
Here are our go-to snacks on rotation for before we hit the gym. Tried and tested, these options provide the right nutrients and just enough (but not too much) energy, so that you can get the most out of your workout. By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor Melissa Fine.
1) Apple and Nut Butter
An easy snack to prepare at any time of day, the apple will give you some carbs for an energy hit, and paired with the nut butter, some slow-to-digest fibre, healthy fats and protein to sustain you through your workout.
Do yourself a favour and try green apple slices dipped in cashew butter – the perfect combination of sweet and sour. A sweeter Pink Lady apple is awesome with salted, natural peanut butter.
2) Protein Shake
A bit cliché, but a protein shake really does the job as a pre-workout snack. It’s portable (take it with you in a shaker or jar), easy to digest and easy to down first thing in the a.m. - or later in the day when you’re on the run.
A little protein shake won’t weigh you down, and if you’re doing cardio, will be less likely to give you a stitch than a piece of toast or stick-to-your-ribs porridge. Just a scoop of a good quality whey, pea or brown rice protein powder with ½ a cup or so of milk (or soy or rice milk) for some carbs is all you need… And if you get a vanilla or chocolate protein powder, it’s almost like drinking a milkshake.
3) Medjool Date with Almonds
One Medjool Date gives you a substantial dose of potassium (close to 170mg), an essential mineral that can help reduce muscle cramping and promote muscular strength. Plus dates are nature’s confectionery, providing natural sugars to energise you through your workout. And because dates are high in fibre, their sugar content takes longer to break down than something like a pure sugar lolly.
Pit a Medjool Date, stuff it with a couple raw almonds and you have a balanced (and delicious!) pre-workout snack.
4) Coffee and Milk
This combo of caffeine and carbs (from the milk sugar) will put some pep in your step, boosting your performance and endurance during your workout. The protein from the milk can also help keep your blood sugar stable, so you don’t get an energy dip or feel lightheaded mid-workout. And let’s face it; if you’re working out early in the morning, a latte makes getting to the gym a lot easier.
A medium banana packs a punch when it comes to potassium, containing around 420mg of the stuff (- the Recommended Daily Intake for potassium is 3,800mg/day for men and 2,800mg/day for women*). Because your bananas at the supermarket tend to be ripened with ethylene in a warehouse, we’ve been trying to go for organic varieties. Delicious with some creamy, sweet and savoury almond butter.
We’re also loving Bananinha as a pre-workout snack at GoodnessMe Box HQ! Pure, sun-ripened, dried banana with a little lime juice, a Bananinha (don’t you love saying the name?!) gives you 3g of potassium and 20g of carbs, for immediate energy without being too heavy on your stomach… It won’t get squashed in your bag either, and it’s small enough to tote in your pocket.
Find out more about Bananinha here www.bananinha.com.au