You already have a routine when it comes to eating before work or school, right?
What’s your pre-workout routine? I’m curious what some of you seasoned athletes out there eat before you lace your running shoes or hop on your bike. Please share some of your favorite meals or quick bites in the comments section below.
When I first started exercising, I had no clue. I know ate terribly and unwittingly negatively affected my performance.
Food is fuel. Use the right fuel for your needs.
I learned most everything I know from the highly-trained coaches and knowledgeable coaches in the Team in Training program of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (http://www.teamintraining.org/). I also gleaned sport-specific tips from magazines like Runners World (www.runnersworld.com) and Bicycle (www.bicycling.com).
For those just beginning their journey, here are some tips I’ve gotten from Team in Training coaches:
– Most people plan a pre-workout meal to be two to four hours beforehand. Any closer and things may get a little uncomfortable. If you’re going to be working extra hard, allow some more time for digestion.
– Your pre-workout meal should be high in carbohydrates to top off muscle fuel stores, low in protein and very low in fat and fiber for quicker digestion.
– For early morning workouts or to further top off fuel supplies in the hour before your workout, eat some or all of a carb-rich, low-fat Powerbar Performance bar or Powerbar Powergel. A banana, some toast, maybe a Powerbar, is what I’ll eat for early morning light workouts because I don’t want to wake up earlier to eat something heartier. If I workout after work, I may snack on half a Clif Bar (eating the other half after). Long bike rides or runs, especially take some planning.
– Drink an extra 16 ounces two to three hours before exercise. Water is usually sufficient, so if you’re trying to lose weight, stick with that. Sports drinks – such as Powerbar Endurance or Gatorade – work too but watch the calories.
– Experiment! Differences between people can be significant. I don’t like fruity-flavored Powerbars, but others do. Before a long bike ride, my husband sets the alarm two hours before he plans on getting up so he can eat a bagel with honey on it. Then, after he’s officially up, he grabs a Powerbar before heading out on the bike. I, on the other hand, don’t set the alarm twice to fuel up. And instead of honey on my bagels, I preferred a light layer of peanut butter (but not too much).