According to Marc Perry, founder and CEO of Built Lean and a top personal trainer and fitness expert in New York City, the four most important things you should consider before choosing a pre-workout snack or meal include, timing (e.g. how long before your workout you’ll be eating); your personal fitness goals (e.g. building muscle mass, increasing speed, training for endurance, etc.); digestibility (you want to choose foods that will digest quickly and that won’t upset your stomach); and finally, the type of workout you’ll be completing (including how long the workout will last).
Perry explains that the benefits of consuming a nutrient-rich meal or snack before your workout include increased energy levels, muscle tissue protection and increased muscle growth. However, if part of your goal is to lose fat, be sure to consider the additional calories of a pre-workout meal or snack as part of your total intake for the day.
Here are a few nutritious and delicious pre-workout snack ideas to try before you head off to the gym.
1. Apple Slices with Almond Butter
According to certified raw food nutritionist Sophie Jaffe, apples have both simple, quick-burning carbohydrates and complex, slow-burning carbohydrates that will provide optimal amounts of energy for your workout. Adding one tablespoon of almond butter will offer a bit of protein while also causing the sugars from the apple to enter the bloodstream more slowly, keeping you from running out of steam during longer gym sessions.