We all know that exercising on an empty stomach is not great, especially if you are planning an hour long session packed full of lifting, running or cycling. To ensure you have a continuous stream of energy throughout your workout, it’s vital to munch on a mix of carbs and protein as not only will these keep you going for longer. but they will also help repair muscles afterwards.
So, here’s the top 10 foods you should have hiding away in your kitchen…
1) Bananas. These are very rich in fast acting carbohydrates, that will provide you with plenty of quick fire fuel to power your workout. They are also a great supply of potassium, which helps to maintain muscle and nerve function.
2) Oats. Packed with fibre, oats will produce a steady release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream, contributing to a steady energy supply.
3) Caffeine. Caffeine has been proven to help regular drinkers enjoy a workout more by generating energy as well as increasing the rate of fat burn and fending off fatigue.
4) Fruit smoothies. These have high quality protein, can be easily and quickly digested and have a key combination of simple and complex carbs, making them the perfect pre-workout snack. Simple carbohydrates will hit for the first 15 to 20 minutes, while you can expect the complex carbs to help you out around the half hour mark.
5) Chickpeas. Just a simple quarter of a cup of these will give you 10g of protein, 30g of carbs and almost 9g of fibre. Enough said.
6) Egg whites. Much better than the yolk, which can make you feel bloated and sluggish, a single egg white can give you 4g of protein and no fat.
7) Dried fruit. This light snack will provide you with instant energy from simple carbs yet won’t weigh you down. A quarter cup of dried berries, apricots and pineapple will hit the nail on the head.
8) Whole grain toast. Anything whole grain, such as quinoa and brown rice, are rammed with fibre, which provide slow release, sustained energy for the course of your workout.
9) Chicken breast and brown rice. Complex carbs in brown rice are a winner to help sustain energy, whilst chicken or tofu will ramp up the protein to help with muscle repair after the workout. Instead of brown rice you could swap in sweet potatoes, qunioa or starchy veg if you fancy something different for your main meal.
10) Greek yoghurt. This provides double the amount of protein as normal yoghurt but has about half as much raw sugar. This is a sure fire energy boost that is easy on the tummy.