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The Pre-Workout Meal

Posted Feb 23 2010 10:15am
The best pre-workout meal is one that works best for the individual and is not digested too rapidly.

Try these ideas:
  • A banana with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Low-fat yogurt and a piece of fruit
  • Oatmeal made with skim milk and fruit
  • Trail mix with nuts and fruit
  • Granola with low-fat milk and fruit
  • A smoothie made with low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, and wheat germ or flax meal

Pre-workout meal tips 
The following are some ideas that you may want to try:
  • Choose high-carbohydrate, low-fat food, whole-grain and high-fiber foods, consumed 1 hour prior to exercise, are ideal; some examples include

Avoid high-fat protein sources - such as fried meats, cheese, and hamburgers, because they take longer to empty from the stomach and may contribute to a sluggish or nauseated feeling

Time to digest - the blood used to digest foods in the stomach is required in the muscles for exercise; so, food will remain in the digestive tract longer if improper time for digestion is allowed.

Energy bars and protein shakes - can act as alternatives to whole foods, but realize that the needed calories come primarily from sugars. The energy boost does not come from consuming the ingredients in these products, but from consuming the 200-300 calories needed in a pre-workout meal. Also these products are anymore digestible than whole foods and need adequate water consumption for complete digestion.

What's YOUR favorite pre-workout meal or snack?

Clark N. Sports Nutrition Guidebook. 3rd ed. Brookline, MA: Human Kinetics; 2003.

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