Hello everyone. Today’s guest post comes from Lisa Shoreland – a resident blogger at GoCollege which is an excellent online guide for students.
Whether you’re the type of person who works out two to three times a day, or if you’re a working Mom hoping to sneak in a quick fitness routine before or after work, what you eat before you exercise ultimately determines the quality of your workout.
Some experts believe that protein is the “ultimate pre-workout fuel food,” while others believe it is carbohydrates; because of this it is important to experiment and find out which foods help provide you with energy, and which foods don’t.
Here are 9 foods that are known to help fuel workouts and give you more energy:
1. Fresh Fruit
Eating fruit before your regular workout routine can leave you feeling refreshed and energized, and can also help you burn fat faster.
Bananas are known to help boost your metabolism because they contain potassium, and they can also help regulate the amount of water that is in your body and maintain your nerve and muscle functions. Citrus fruits contain loads of vitamin C, which can help dilute the fat in your body. Apples and berries are also a great source of pectin, which has water binding properties that will help limit the amount of fat your cells absorb.
Try making a fruit salad, or if you have a blender whip yourself up a delicious fruit smoothie.
Boiled, scrambled, fried, or even raw…eggs are a great energy booster. They can also be combined with fish, meat or vegetables to make a tasty omelette.
One single egg is said to contain six grams of “high-quality” proteins as well as nine essential amino acids. And even though experts state that the yolk of the egg is packed full of fat and cholesterol, the yolk also contains approximately 300 micrograms of choline, which is an important nutrient that helps regulate the cardiovascular and nervous system.
Chicken ranks as one of the top favourite foods for body builders because of its “muscle building potential,” and experts have stated that eating chicken can actually provide your body with up to 40 percent of your daily vitamin requirements. Chicken also contains both protein and carbohydrates, as well as healthy fats.
Oats are packed full of fibre, carbohydrates, and nutrients, and are known to help keep your energy levels constant during your workout. Scientific studies have shown that people who eat more oats are less likely to develop heart disease.
Try to avoid eating those instant packages of oatmeal that come in different flavors, and choose plain oat flakes instead. Also, mix milk in with your oatmeal instead of water for an extra boost of calcium and protein, and add different fruit to the mix like blueberries or strawberries.
Research studies have shown that eating yogurt can actually improve your immune system, and comes highly recommended by experts, especially if you’re the weightlifting or cardio type.
Yogurt can leave you feeling refreshed and contains a lot of proteins and carbohydrates, and it is also known to help prevent bad bacteria. It also provides your body with important nutrients like calcium and vitamin B2, and contains magnesium which is a great energy booster because it activates the enzymes that are associated with the metabolism of protein and carbs.
Seafood, whether it be salmon, shrimp, or cod, is packed full of various proteins, minerals, and Omega-3 fatty acids. It is also believed that it can help relieve symptoms and inflammation caused by arthritis, and helps build muscles and tissue in the body.
Studies have shown that eating seafood (in small amounts) can actually help reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. (Apparently one serving of fatty fish per week can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 50-70 percent!)
Turkey is a rich protein source and one single serving of turkey can actually provide your body with adequate amounts of pre-workout protein. Turkey also contains selenium, which is known to help improve your metabolism and immune system.
8. Trail Mix
Eating half a cup of trail mix that contains nuts, seeds, and dried food, can help give you that extra boost of energy before your workout. Trail mix is an excellent source of phosphorous (known for promoting muscle growth) as well as zinc (which helps speeds up the healing of the muscles). However, you should try to avoid eating any kind of trail mix that has M&Ms or other sugary ingredients.
This should be a given for any health nut, but it still needs to be stressed just how important vegetables are to your diet.
Vegetables are low in fat but still contain various vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body. Vegetables also contain various antioxidants that help protect your body from diseases and stress.
Experts recommended that you eat approximately five to seven servings of fresh vegetables every day, and try to include as much of a variety in vegetable types of colors as you can. Green, yellow, and orange vegetables all contain rich sources of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as numerous nutrients.
About the Author:
Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at Go College, where recently she’s been researching grants for social workers as well as grants for teachers. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, practicing martial arts, and taking weekend trips.