WHAT TO EAT BEFORE A WORKOUT
Picture this. It’s 5pm, and you’re running out the door to make it to your 5:30pm CORE+ class. You’re starving because you haven’t eaten since midday, so you scoff on whatever you find on the way, and end up feeling sick and bloated as you lay down on your yoga mat. Yep, we’ve all done it.
We lead busy lives, and running from one place to the next is not uncommon. Firstly, well done for making it to class after a long day! But if you spend a little time planning your nutrition and setting yourself up for success, not only will you get more out of your class, you’ll smash your PBs and reach your health goals sooner.
Let’s break it down. CORE+ Trainer Rosalyn D’Angelo tells us exactly what we need to know when it comes to fuelling up before class.
Your body uses carbohydrates as fuel, and stores it as glycogen in your muscles. When you start moving, your body releases and burns the glycogen. If you’ve eaten regular healthy meals and snacks throughout the day, your body will have enough stored glycogen to last you about an hour.
If you haven’t eaten anything for more than three hours, or you feel shaky or lethargic during your classes, it might be helpful to have a small carbohydrate-based snack to top up your muscles’ glycogen levels. This is especially important if you’ve skipped any meals that day, had a particularly crazy day, or your class is higher intensity.
Make sure you go for quality – think whole foods in their natural state. Sweet potato, oats, brown rice, yoghurt and fruit all have good quality carbohydrates, but are also high in fibre and contain micronutrients that your body will use to power your training, helping you to push harder and faster.
Plan a snack 1-2 hours prior to class for an energy top-up. Eating too close to exercise can leave you feeling a little sick.
It’s a struggle to get through a day or an exercise session if you haven’t had enough water. You’re going to lose water as your exercise, so it’s important that you start hydrated – especially if you’re doing a class in the heated mat room!
Make sure you’re sipping on water through the day and bring a drink bottle with you to sip on before, during and after class. Forget sports drinks; they’re only useful for much longer sessions.
Here are some pre-workout snack ideas that will not only support your training, but help you meet your daily nutrient requirements.
- Half a cup of muesli with milk and frozen berries
- Chopped banana, plain Greek yoghurt and LSA
- Slice of wholegrain toast, topped with sliced tomato and pepper
- Sliced apple with a little nut butter
What about early morning classes?
A few spoonfuls of yoghurt or a piece of fruit is enough to break the overnight ‘fast’ and top up your glycogen levels. But if you can’t stomach anything before your 6am class, make sure you at least have a good drink of water, and have a balanced breakfast within an hour of finishing your workout.
What do you eat before a workout? Join the conversation by sharing your go-to snack on the CORE+ Facebook page!