The food you ingest is the most important part of a workout routine you will ever do because it is what provides you with the fuel you need to complete the routines. Choose the correct foods and your body will have enough energy to sustain you throughout the day and through your workout. There are certain foods that can give your energy more than most, though, and you should eat them at least two hours before you do any physical fitness routine because this will allow your body to properly store the energy you will need.
Bananas contain sugar that immediately goes to work in your body to give you energy. They also digest slowly so you can sustain energy throughout the workout and feel fuller longer. Oranges are another good fruit that will provide you with the same results. In fact, fruits are one of the best foods you can eat because they contain natural sugars that your body needs for fuel, but this sugar doesn’t store as fat. Consume them before working out in the gym and the sugar can actually help you burn other fat you have stored. Fruit also dilates your blood vessels so they can carry oxygen to cells and help your body rid itself of waste.
Let’s clear the air on this one: yes, you need to eat carbs. Yes, some carbs are bad. No, not all carbs are harmful.
Now that is out of the way, the best source for sustained energy is going to be foods that contain complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs metabolize at slower rate than simple carbohydrates, which are found in foods like sodas and sweets. Complex carbs are found in foods like whole grains, pastas, beans, and nuts. The greatest thing about these is that when you think you are getting tired, they kick in the most with stored energy that comes from glycogen these carbs help to create. Your pre-workout meal should contain at least one cup of these carbs, and they can easily be paired with the other high-energy foods to keep you fueled.
Chicken and Eggs
One of the greatest sources of protein is chicken and you definitely need protein if you want to have energy. Protein is mandatory for anyone that is working out, though, not only because it gives you energy but also because it is a building block for new muscles. Protein maintains nitrogen balance in muscles and helps them to repair after a workout. You shouldn’t just consume protein before a workout, though. This is something you should eat throughout the day so it can benefit you constantly. Protein is also great for losing weight because it helps to curb cravings and suppress your appetite.
All sources of meat provide protein, but chicken is the best source of it, and that includes eggs, too. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are also great protein sources, but they can be high in calories, so watch how much you eat. Low calorie protein sources include legumes and nuts.
Nuts and Other Snacks
You need to snack throughout the day to make sure that your body has sustained energy. Yes, certain foods can make your energy last longer, but they will eventually deplete. This is when you need to have snacks on hand to boost your energy, and there is no better way to get a lower calorie, high-energy snack than from nuts. These little wonders of nature help your body build glycogen, which you need so your body doesn’t begin to break down (or eat) your hard earned muscle for fuel.
It’s important to eat something every three hours to keep your energy up, but snacking does not mean that you eat sugary foods or processed foods. To get the best from snacking you can eat almonds with an ounce of cheese, or an apple with some peanut butter. All of these foods will keep your metabolism and sugars at healthy levels to give you energy to power through your day and your workout routine.
Eating healthy foods is something that must be done throughout the day, or you will lose energy when you need it most. If your body doesn’t have enough healthy carbs and sugars to make the glycogen it needs to keep running, it will break down your muscle for that energy. When you try to regain that muscle at the gym you will quickly run out of fuel to make it through your workout and you will harm your body, rather than do it good.