Why should you eat before a workout, to begin with?
Supplying your body with energy before you work out is crucial. It will allow you to have a better, more committed workout. Here's the thing: if you want to protect your body and your muscles, you should fuel them, because without fuel you'll be willingly causing yourself fatigue, cramps, and quite possibly catabolism. Catabolism happens when your body begins to consume your very own muscles, those you've worked so hard for, as a means to get the energy it needs.
Is that what you want?
We don't think so.
When you should eat mostly depends on what you're going to eat and how long it takes for that food to be digested. You should eat the right things. Eating fatty foods isn't going to help. It will just make you lazy. But don't worry, we'll show you the good stuff.
1. Bananas & Greek Yogurt (30 min before workout)
So maybe bananas aren't all that high protein but bear with us, we'll turn this into something else. They're good carbohydrates that will help you get an energy boost for your workout and a great source of potassium that will prevent cramps and things of the sort.
If you want to increase your protein intake simply add non-fat greek yogurt.
This is a killer combination for a pre-workout snack. It gives you energy for your workout and protein for your muscles.
2. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (1 hour before workout)
A good old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich will definitely give you the energy boost you're looking for. Peanut butter brings the protein in, jelly brings the sugar and the whole wheat bread brings in some added carbohydrates and fiber.
Keep in mind that you don't want to eat too much, so a small sandwich should do it. Maybe prep a whole sandwich and cut it in half. Now you have your post-workout snack too!
3. Dried Fruits and Nuts With Greek Yogurt (1 hour before workout)
Dried fruits are generally avoided because of the sugar, but there's nothing wrong with a short-term energy boost if you're going to use that energy. You could use Yömms snacks to enhance this snack! Simply add dried fruit and nuts to a bowl of Greek yogurt and you're set.
Don't put too many dried fruit into your yogurt bowl, remember, they have lots of sugar!
4. Apple Slices with Peanut Butter (30 min before workout)
Spread peanut butter on apple slices and you have short-term energy from the sugar in the apple and good protein intake from the peanut butter. You could also use almond butter or pecan butter. Look for the unsweetened kind. Eating this will also provide you with good fats and oils, so you shouldn't worry.
5. Protein Shake (15 min before workout)
Sometimes you just don't have the time or your options just don't seem very appealing at the moment. If that's the case, you can take the "let's do this" approach and not think about it too much. Simply whip up a protein shake and chug it. Now get to work.
What's important is that you follow through on what you set out to do. Whatever helps, whatever works.