3 foods to eat before your summer workout
Eating and exercise go hand in hand. Fueling your workout with a snack before you hit the gym (or the pavement) can give you additional energy and even boost your metabolism. In an interview with HuffingPost.com, Barbara Lewin, R.D., L.D., a sports nutritionist who works with professional and Olympic athletes, said "The calories are what's enabling you to work out at your best. If you're not well-fueled, you're not going to work out as hard."
Bananas are rich in carbohydrates and they contain sugars and starch that serve as great sources of energy for your body. The fruit is also a good source of potassium, which plays an essential role in muscle function, as deficiencies in potassium can lead to abnormal cramping and discomfort. According to Haupert, a banana can also help replenish electrolytes that are lost through sweat. The ultimate grab-and-go snack, bananas are the perfect fuel when you’re short on time.
Raisins are considered a high glycemic index food, which means eating them before a workout will increase your blood sugar and top up your body’s glycogen stores to fuel your muscles during your workout. “In fact, some athletes rely solely on raisins instead of sports gels to fuel their muscles before a workout,” writes Haupert. San Diego State University researchers found those who consumed the same amount of quick-digesting carbohydrates from raisins or a sports gel 45 minutes prior to endurance exercise experienced a similar benefit to performance. Haupert suggests aiming for about 50 raisins (26 grams) as your pre-workout snack, clocking in at just 78 calories.
Forget aspirin — a 2011 study found that a daily dose of pomegranate juice is the all-natural answer to easing muscle soreness. So if you want to get a jump-start on recovery, drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice could prove vital. “Be sure to choose a pomegranate juice that is 100% juice in order to reap its full health benefits,” warns Haupert.