Health

What you should eat BEFORE your morning workout, according to an ex-Marine turned fitness freak

What you should eat BEFORE your morning workout, according to an ex-Marine turned fitness freak

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Morning workouts can make you feel energized for the day, that is, if you can be bothered to drag yourself to the gym.

But what you eat before you sweat can determine how much progress you make, according to one expert.

Former Marine Patrick Dale, now a gym owner and fitness writer, shared his tips for the best pre-workout snacks.

From low-fat cream cheese English muffins to turkey bagels, Mr. Dale has revealed his best meals to maximize your morning energy levels.

Fitness expert and gym owner Patrick Dale shares his tips for the best pre-workout snacks, from low-fat cream cheese English muffins to turkey bagels

Other energy-boosting snacks he suggests include mashed ripe banana on toast with honey, oatmeal with berries or cereal, and low-fat milk.

If you’re in a rush, an energy bar or muesli are also good pre-workout snacks, according to Mr Dale.

He also suggests eating scrambled egg whites and rice crackers as a pre-workout snack.

British-born Mr Dale, who now lives in Cyprus, says your pre-workout breakfast should be full of fast-acting, easy-to-digest carbohydrates.

Ex-Marine turned fitness freak Patrick Dale (pictured) says your pre-workout breakfast should be full of fast-acting, easy-to-digest carbs, as your time between waking up and working out will be limited

Ex-Marine turned fitness freak Patrick Dale (pictured) says your pre-workout breakfast should be full of fast-acting, easy-to-digest carbs, as your time between waking up and working out will be limited

He suggests eating foods that rank medium to high on the glycemic index chart — which measures how fast-acting a carbohydrate is.

When you eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose, which the body uses as fuel.

Mr Dale says fast-acting carbs are best for your pre-workout meal, as you may not have much time between waking up and working out.

Dates, breakfast cereal, white bread, ripe bananas and white rice are examples of such carbohydrates.

The type of exercise you do will also determine whether fast or slow-acting carbohydrates are best.

For a short and intense workout, experts recommend the consumption of fast-acting carbohydrates for a burst of energy.

For longer workouts, slow-acting carbohydrates such as brown rice or quinoa are recommended because they release energy gradually.

Yet for the jet-lagged gym-goer, fast-acting carbs are best, as Mr Dale describes them as an “instant source of energy”.

While he claims you can start the day with just carbs, he said research shows it’s best to combine them with protein.

Ripe bananas are an example of a fast-acting carb, which Mr. Dale says is key to your pre-workout snack

Another example of a fast-acting carbohydrate that you can include in your morning meal is white bread

Dates, breakfast cereal, white bread, ripe bananas, and white rice are examples of fast-acting carbohydrates

Protein helps build muscle by repairing and maintaining muscle tissue, so Mr. Dale recommends adding some to your pre-workout meal.

When it comes to what to cut out of your breakfast, you should avoid fatty and high-fiber foods if you’re about to exercise, experts say.

Although fat is important as part of your overall diet, it takes a long time to digest, so it’s best to avoid it before a workout, says registered dietitian and nutritionist Megan Casper, a member of the American Dietetic Association.

She said, “It means [that] if you eat something really high in fat, think fried foods or bacon, right before a workout, it will remain undigested in your stomach and cause indigestion.

Mr Dale also says your breakfast should be low in fat and even advises against consuming healthy fats such as olive oil, linseed oil or coconut oil.

He also argues that the same logic applies to fiber.

He suggests opting for more refined foods that are naturally low in fiber, such as white bread instead of whole grains.

You need to give your body time to start digesting food before you start working out, and fitness gurus say eating 30 to 60 minutes beforehand is ideal.

But if your time between waking up and exercising is limited, Mr Dale suggests drinking your breakfast, as liquids are absorbed more quickly than solids.

Nutritionist Lauren Felts, who also owns the health and wellness website The Holy Kale, said: “By drinking our breakfast, we’re flooding the body with high-density foods that will continue to promote the body’s repair, regeneration and cleansing processes without strain the digestive system.’

Some people suggest doing your morning workout on an empty stomach – which is called a fasted workout.

However, the Institute of Human Performance in Surrey says the general consensus among experts is that this is not recommended as it can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration and can hinder your performance.

HOW MANY EXERCISES ARE REQUIRED

To stay healthy, adults ages 19 to 64 should try to be active every day and should:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking each week and
  • strength training 2 or more days a week that works all major muscles (legs, thighs, back, abs, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or playing singles tennis each week and
  • strength training 2 or more days a week that works all major muscles (legs, thighs, back, abs, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • a combination of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity each week – for example 2 x 30 minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equals 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and
  • strength training 2 or more days a week that works all major muscles (legs, thighs, back, abs, chest, shoulders and arms)

A good rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as 2 minutes of moderate activity.

One way to get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week is to do 30 minutes 5 days each week.

All adults should also break up long periods of sitting with light activity.

source: NHS


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