What You Should Eat Before Going To the Gym*

*This is a collaborative post*

Grabbing a bite before hitting the gym has its fair share of benefits. Regardless of the kind of workout you will be doing, eating healthy and power inducing foods can give you just the right amount of energy to do the best workout. Your diet is a crucial aid to your workout and what you eat can make or break the results of the sweat you break in the gym.
You have to be cautious about both what you eat and how much you eat. Here are seven things you should eat before going to the gym:

1.       Banana
Bananas are rich in potassium and just one serving can provide with 23% of the daily intake required for a balanced diet. Potassium enriches cells and tissues in the body. Bananas also contain decent amounts of digestible carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are just enough to provide the necessary energy to endure a tough workout.
This fruit is one of those that are available fresh all year. It is especially great for those who are just starting out with an exercise program. Also, if you work out in the morning before breakfast, then this is exactly what you need to eat.

2.       Oats
Your cabinets should be full of oats if you are trying to lose weight and working out for that. Oats can be an energizing snack for the pre-exercise period. These help in the discharge of carbohydrates in your body which in turn facilitates your movements. They are also rich in fibre and protein, and if you would like to make it even better, have it with almond or soy milk.
The day you think about challenging yourself, make sure to eat a bowl of oatmeal. Whether you are lifting or doing cardio at the gym, you need a steady flow of energy to achieve your desired results. You can find dozens of tasty recipes for oats online.

3.       Egg Whites
If you are working on increasing muscle mass, egg whites might just be the best pre-workout food. The yolks are heavy on fat, but the whites are not. Whichever way you prefer, eat at least one egg white. You will get around 4 grams of protein, which is good enough to facilitate some heavy resistance training.

4.       Fruit Smoothies
If you are one of those people who are always up for having something delicious, fruit smoothies are for you. Not only are they a delight to drink, but they are also super easy and quick to make. The amount of sugar you will get from these drinks will provide energy for a thorough workout.
One more advantage with smoothies is playing around with different ingredients. You can combine different fruits to drink something different now and then. If you like to add yoghurt to your smoothies, go with Greek yoghurt. It is incredibly rich in protein and is low in sugar, unlike regular yoghurt.

5.       Whole Grain Toast
Whole grain bread contains fibres and does not hinder your exercise unlike bread made from processed starch. Why is it good for eating before heading to the gym? It provides a constant release of energy which is very beneficial for an average 30-60 minutes workout session.
Just like smoothies, toast can be diversified regarding taste. You can put different jams or peanut butter on it, although peanut butter is the best as it contains protein and potassium. You can also put sliced fruits like bananas, strawberries, etc on top of it.

6.       Dried Fruits
If you are in quite a hurry to get to the gym, the best thing to eat would be dried fruits. Quarter to half a cup of dried apricots, berries, or pineapples should be more than enough. These contain simple carbohydrates that can provide an instant boost of energy.
If you head to the gym right after work or school, you can keep these in your bag and eat on your way there. They are pretty light and should ideally be consumed a few minutes before workout.

7.       Supplements
Besides protein foods and fruits, supplements can fill up your body with nutrients and energy. They can ultimately give you your full potential of running, cycling, lifting, whatever that you take up in the gym. Protein powder and creatine supplement can be taken 15 to 30 minutes before workout. Besides the energy release, these will also aid muscle recovery.
For intense movements, your body requires amino acids, which you can take via supplements. However, avoid muscle building steroids for this purpose as there are proven side-effects. Perhaps they will speed up your gains, but at the expense of your overall health.
We all have different bodies and steroids can react differently. You may feel great during the workout, but you may also suffer from stress, anxiety, insomnia or excessive perspiration post-workout.
There is a common myth, especially among those trying to shed some weight that not eating at all and working out with an empty stomach will cause an increased fat burn. That is not entirely true as you need the energy to move and do exercise. If you do not have the energy to work out, you will not burn calories to reach your desired weight.
Similarly, in the case of muscle gain exercising with an empty stomach might exhaust your body and disrupt your lifting. So make sure to eat something healthy a little before heading to the gym.

*Image source Shutterstock 

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