Four snack options to consume before exercising to enhance your workout

Discover the ideal pre-workout foods by reading this article.

4 Types Of Snacks You Can Have Before Exercising For A Great Workout
4 Types Of Snacks You Can Have Before Exercising For A Great Workout

Regular exercise is essential not only for weight management but also for overall health. People engage in various forms of physical activity, such as walking, jogging, gym workouts, or home yoga sessions, based on their preferences. Similarly, dietary habits before exercising vary widely, with some opting to eat before a workout while others prefer exercising on an empty stomach. There’s a common belief that it’s best not to eat for hours before exercising, especially for weight loss. However, opinions differ, with some considering this practice unhealthy. So, what’s the truth? Should you exercise on an empty stomach? And if not, what are the best pre-workout snacks? To address these questions, Healthonlyforyou interviewed Neha Pathania, Senior Dietician at Paras Hospitals, Gurugram.

Is exercising on an empty stomach beneficial

The answer is nuanced. “Exercising on an empty stomach won’t necessarily harm you. In fact, depending on your goals, it could be beneficial,” Pathania explained. However, there’s a risk of experiencing ‘bonking,’ a term in sports referring to feeling lethargic or lightheaded due to low blood sugar levels, when exercising before eating.”

Therefore, if you find that eating something before exercising suits you, it’s advisable to do so for its benefits. Providing your body with proper nutrition maximizes performance during workouts and aids in post-workout recovery.

Top Pre-Workout Snack Options

Top Pre-Workout Snack Options

Before delving into specific food choices, it’s essential to understand their nutritional components.

  • According to Pathania, incorporating carbohydrates is beneficial for short and high-intensity exercises as it enhances the body’s ability to utilize glycogen as a fuel source during the workout.
  • Additionally, fats play a crucial role in fueling the body for longer exercise sessions, as noted by the nutritionist.

Now that we’ve identified the macronutrients to focus on, let’s explore the best pre-workout snacks to optimize your performance:

1. Carbohydrates 

As you’re aware, incorporating carbohydrates can be advantageous for short and high-intensity exercises. Therefore, some carb-rich food options to consider include bread, grains, cereals, and similar items.

2. Fruits and Vegetables

When considering nutrition, few foods rival the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are gentle on the stomach, easily digestible, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

3. Familiar Foods

It’s important to avoid pre-workout foods that others recommend if they don’t suit you well, as they could potentially harm rather than benefit you. Instead, opt for familiar foods that your body tolerates well as your pre-workout snack. This could include your favorite fruit, bread, salad, or any other preferred option.

4. A modest intake of proteins

Research indicates that the Indian diet often lacks sufficient protein. Protein is a vital macronutrient that offers numerous benefits. It not only promotes satiety but also enhances muscle growth, metabolism, facilitates body repair, and aids in weight loss. According to nutritionists, incorporating a small amount of protein into your pre-workout routine can be beneficial. Here are some protein-rich options you can consider:

  • A small serving of lean meat
  • One to two tablespoons of peanut butter
  • ¾ cup of low-fat yogurt
  • A cup of milk
  • Half a cup of cottage cheese
  • An egg

These snacks can serve as effective pre-workout options. However, it’s essential to choose what suits you best. Firstly, determine if consuming food before exercising benefits you. Then, select a pre-workout snack that you enjoy and enhances your overall performance.

Options for snacks after a workout

Options for snacks after a workout

As vital as pre-workout nutrition is, post-workout nourishment is equally essential for recovery and replenishment. If you’re contemplating what to eat after your exercise session, consider the following snack options:

  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt and frozen berry smoothie
  • Sandwich
  • Vegetable and bean rice bowl
  • Banana
  • Low-fat chocolate milk
  • Peanut butter on whole grain crackers