Getting ready to work out is often the hardest part of exercising. You need a plan, a place to do it, the right kind of clothes, good shoes, and enough energy.
Caffeine can help you feel more energetic — but so can certain foods.
Chris Jordan is the exercise physiologist who came up with the 7-minute workout routine designed to give you the benefits of a sweaty bike ride and a trip to the gym in just a few minutes. He says it’s important to fuel your body properly before working out.
To avoid feeling burned out a few minutes into your routine or exhausted afterwards, Jordan recommends two specific snacks.
The first, which should be eaten 1-2 hours before hitting the gym, should score low on the glycemic index.
Foods with a low glycemic index score, which dietitians often refer to as “low-glycemic” foods, can help keep energy levels steady by making sure your blood sugar levels don’t rise or fall too dramatically. Good low-glycemic snack options include an apple, some walnuts or almonds, a small low-fat yogurt, some hummus and carrots, a piece of whole wheat toast, or a couple of hard-boiled eggs. Some research suggests a low-glycemic diet may have other benefits as well, such as helping your body metabolize fat more efficiently.
The second can be eaten at any time and should combine carbohydrates and protein. Jordan’s favorite after a sweaty trip to the gym? Low-fat chocolate milk.
“Chocolate milk is an ideal post workout snack since it provides carbohydrates, protein, fluid, electrolytes,” he says.
These snacks can help provide you with more energy throughout the day and assist you in pursuing fitness goals like losing body fat and building muscle, Jordan says. So what are you waiting for? Fuel up and hit it.