Eating before a workout can make you feel sluggish or even nauseous. That is why many people skip food before a workout and eat later. The problem with that is the time between eating and the workout may be longer than necessary because of busy daily lives. For example, if you eat breakfast early then go to the gym around one o’ clock, having skipped lunch, you have likely not eaten in five or more hours. This can contribute to a lack of energy much like a large, greasy meal would. Instead of going to either of these extremes, choose a pre workout snack to give you energy without making you sluggish.
One of the best pre workout snacks is fruit. The reason for this is that most fruit has high water content. Fruits are also packed with vitamins and nutrients that your body may use during your workout. Fruits such as apples, oranges and pineapple have a lot of water and many vitamins. However, they may not sit well with people who have a low tolerance for acid in their food. If that is the case, try a handful of grapes, raisins or a banana.
Nuts contain a high amount of protein and they contain nutrients, depending on the type of nut. Eat a handful of these before your workout so you will not feel hungry and tired. Try to avoid nuts that have spicy powder flavoring or a sugar coating, as they are not what is best for your stomach before a workout.
Yogurt is an excellent pre workout snack. It contains protein and often fruit. Add a few tablespoons of granola for some fiber and it becomes a filling nutritional snack. As with fresh fruit, try to avoid the yogurts that contain heartburn producing acids. No one wants to have heartburn in the middle of a workout, especially cardio.
Grain is heavy, but typically not so heavy as to produce discomfort during a workout. Eat a small bran muffin or half of a large one. Alternatively, eat a handful of cereal without the milk. The milk will slosh around in your stomach and causes heartburn for some. You can even eat a little granola or a small bowl of oatmeal. Just do not eat too much grain, as it can become heavy and produce nausea, particularly during a run.
A pre workout snack should ideally be eaten 15 minutes to a half hour before the actual workout. Eating immediately before working out can become uncomfortable. The pushing and pressure that some exercises produce can push food up into the throat. However, if you do something easy, like a leisurely walk, to warm up, eating just before beginning is fine.