If you had a long road trip to make, would you chance driving on an empty tank? Of course not! So why chance getting through a workout without the proper fuel?
To have a successful workout, you have to pre-fuel your body in order to provide the energy you need. Knowing what to eat and when to eat before a workout provides you with optimal results. Eating a light meal before exercise seems to actually increase your fat-burning potential.
Yes, research has shown that eating the proper foods before -- and after -- working out is as important as the workout itself.
The foods you eat before you exercise and the timing of your meals and/or snacks is critical. It is just as important to avoid working out on a full stomach as it is to work out on an empty stomach! If you eat a large meal just before you exercise, you may experience nausea, sluggishness or muscle cramps.
Skipping meals before exercising can cause light-headedness and weakness. It is important to eat 30 minutes before you exercise or you may experience dizziness, and not having enough energy to go through the exercises.
Try to avoid anything that's high in fat, high in only fiber or protein, or a heavy meal. Your body will have a difficult time breaking down those foods fast enough and they may leave you feeling sluggish. Stick with something simple like carbs.
Yes, you heard correctly! Carbohydrates are easily broken down and used as energy for your workout.
Here are some snack ideas:
-- Non-fat yogurt and fresh berries
-- Homemade fruit smoothie (1/4 cup of plain low fat yogurt, 1 handful of fresh fruit and 1/2 cup of low sugar fruit juice blended with a few ice cubes)
-- 1/2 whole wheat bagel with 2 Tbsp. light cream cheese
-- Fresh veggies and low-fat salad dressing
Now, get out there and enjoy a happy, productive workout!
Diet.com expert blogger Donna M. DeCunzo-Taddeo is the registered and licensed dietitian who developed the 12-week weight management program that became the foundation of the eDiets.com weight loss program. Together with her husband, writer/director John Taddeo, Donna has since launched Voodoo Tiki Tequila. Donna has been featured by CNN, NBC, NY Times, Cosmopolitan, Womenâ€™s World and Womenâ€™s Day.