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Are your Food Choices Helping or Hurting your Workouts? by HSN

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Think about a recent really amazing workout performance. A workout where you walked away feeling like you gave it your all, and it showed. The results were beyond your expectations, you recovered quickly, and everything just came together the way you imaged it in your head. 

What did you eat before that workout? Can you remember?

Now, imagine the last terrible workout you completed. You felt sluggish, low energy, tired, and couldn’t lift a weight that you expected to be light. You maybe even had to drop weight in the middle of the workout. You walked away feeling defeated. 

What did you eat before that workout?

I’ll wager that what you ate before each of the situations above was completely different. It is easy to default to the idea that your muscles are the same, your body is the same, and therefore, your performance should be the same. But that is not true. I hear it all too often that our members “had a huge lunch” and that’s what brought them in that day. While it’s great to work off those excess calories, you’re probably not going to feel the best going into those workouts. 

The ideal macronutrients to eat before a workout are carbohydrates and protein. If you cannot do both, focus on carbohydrates. Carbohydrates fuel your body, provide energy, and help your body burn fat, not muscle, during a workout. 

You want to actually avoid fats right before a workout because they delay gastric emptying and will make you feel full a sluggish. Not ideal through a 15-minute metcon of wallballs and rowing, eh? Something small can be eating within a half hour of working out but preferably closer to an hour before your workout begins. 

Here are some ideas for a pre-workout snack:

•Oatmeal with blueberries & cinnamon 

•Egg whites with vegetables 

•Rice cake and deli turkey slices

•Applesauce with protein powder mixed in

•Zero or low sugar, low fat yogurt (I like Chobani’s Greek drinkable yogurts) 

It’s hard to change our routine and convince our body of how good it CAN feel unless you try it. Switch up your pre-workout for one day. Choose carbohydrates and protein. Leave out the fat. 

Test it out for yourself and note how you feel!