Your diet plays an important role in your workout regime. What you eat before working out can effectively fuel your body throughout a rigorous workout, allowing you to perform at your best.
Fruit makes a great pre-workout snack as it is quick to digest and can be eaten on the go. Some fruits will give you all the necessary energy you need to let you push your body through a strenuous workout. So, whether you’re looking to build muscles or decrease body fat, here’s a list of the best fruits to eat before a workout.
What Fruits Should You Eat Before Working Out?
The fruits you should choose to eat before heading to the gym to exercise will depend on your choice of workout. Ideally, your pre-workout meal should be low in fat and moderate in muscle-building proteins while being high in carbs. It will give you enough energy to breeze through the workout without causing your muscles to break down.
Here are some good options to consider.
Apples contain a good amount of carbs as well as polyphenols, which are packed with antioxidants and can help regulate blood sugar as well as prevent blood sugar spikes.
Ideally, you should eat your apples with the skin to give your body an extra boost of nutrients. However, the skin can be too fibrous and may lead to cramps and gastrointestinal issues when you work out. So, you can also peel your apples if you prefer.
Bananas are rich in easy-to-digest carbohydrates that can give you the energy you need for a sustained workout and keep you full without weighing you down.
The energy-dense fruit is also a good source of antioxidants and potassium, which help support optimal muscle and nerve function and may even prevent cramps.
You can pair it with peanut butter and Greek yogurt for a highly nutritious pre-workout snack.
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and can help reduce inflammation and the risk of exercise-induced oxidative stress. They’re also valued for their high water content, which can give your muscles the juice to power through various exercises without upsetting your stomach, making them an excellent choice.
Just make sure to eat a whole orange and not orange juice as orange juice, whether freshly squeezed or packaged, can contain too many calories and lacks fiber. It can cause a blood sugar spike and lead to weight gain.
Strawberries are a staple in various diet plans. They’re rich in vitamin C and also contain a good amount of carbohydrates and potassium. These nutrients can give you an energy boost, prevent muscle cramping, and support a healthy immune system.
Strawberries also contain important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which can keep your heart happy and healthy and lower your risk of certain medical conditions, including cancer and diabetes.
Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C as well as carbs, and it can also give your muscles intense hydration.
It’s also high in lycopene, a phytonutrient that plays an important role in cardiovascular and bone health and is also said to aid muscle recovery.
But, Is Fruit Enough As A Pre-Workout Fuel?
Every individual has different nutritional requirements. However, eating fruits rich in fats, carbohydrates, and proteins can fuel our bodies adequately, giving us all the energy we require to get the best performance possible.
Fruits are also effective at curbing hunger pangs and fighting fatigue. They can also eliminate feelings of sluggishness and discomfort during exercise. Eating fruits as a pre-workout snack may also aid the recovery process and minimize the risk of muscle damage.
Make sure the fruits you eat have:
Our body only stores a limited amount of glucose, so you can rest assured knowing that fruits with simple carbohydrates will be your workout bestie.
Why? Our body breaks down carbs into sugar. And glucose, a form of sugar, is essential for providing you with the energy you need to get through particularly intense workouts.
They can also keep you alert during your workout while preventing hunger, making carbs excellent for pre-workout snacks.
Fat gets a bad rep, but this energy-dense nutrient can do wonders for your performance in the gym.
Our body stores excess fat for later use and converts this fat into energy when we exercise. So, eating fruits rich in fat, in moderation, can help your body get through longer forms of low-intensity exercises.
For best results, combine your fruits with nuts and nut products like almond butter. They contain loads of good, heart-healthy fats that can help lower your cholesterol levels while giving you an energy boost.
Protein is an important nutrient that can increase muscle performance and growth and aid in muscle recovery.
Pairing your fruits with Greek yogurt, for example, will pack a powerful protein-filled punch to your meal. This combo is great for a successful workout, as the carbs in fruits can be used as fuel while the protein can be used to prevent muscle damage.
However, avoid eating too much protein as excess protein can be stored in your body as fat and can lead to weight gain over time.
Is A Pre-Workout Snack Necessary?
Eating a pre-workout snack like fruits has many benefits, including:
#1. Replenishing glycogen, which is what your body uses to provide energy during different types of workouts.
#2. Preventing hypoglycemia, a condition that causes your blood sugar levels to be lower than the standard range, resulting in dizziness, hunger, and lightheadedness.
#3. Providing fuel to your muscles to enhance the effectiveness of your workout.
#4. Helping meet your body’s hydration needs through fruits with high water content.
#5. Slowing down digestion so you don’t experience a sugar spike during the session.
Eat a simple snack 2-3 hours after a full meal and 30-90 minutes before you head to the gym. You can adjust the time frame between snacking and workout accordingly to get the most out of your exercise while preventing stomach discomfort.