You're a fit dude. You skip the bad stuff, always get #legday in, and hit the heavy bag hard. But if you want your body to continue performing like a Lamborghini, then you've gotta put in the high-octane fuel—and that means eating the right foods before your workouts.
Even though you may be tempted to skip the calories, don't. Not eating before a workout can result in low blood sugar, which leads to light-headedness and fatigue. “If I don’t have my pre-exercise meal, my workout isn’t the same and it feels like a waste,” says Manuel Villacorta, R.D., author of Eating Free and Peruvian Power Foods. “If you fuel correctly, you’ll work out harder.”
We'll repeat that: fuel correctly. Pigging out on junk will just be counterproductive, and can leave you feeling queasy. So get the good stuff—it'll maximize your energy, and your gains.
Here are the best foods you can eat within an hour before your workout:
Bananas: “They’re nature’s PowerBar,” says Dr. Louise Burke, head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport and coauthor of The Complete Guide to Food for Sports Performance: Peak Nutrition for Your Sport. Bananas are loaded with digestible carbohydrates (read: fuel) and are packed with potassium, which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function. The body doesn’t store potassium for very long, so a medium banana before a workout will help keep nutrient levels high. Villacorta especially recommends bananas for morning exercisers: “Get up and eat a medium banana with 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt. Wait about 30 minutes and then hit the gym. Your body will need the carbohydrates and protein.”
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