Fuel Your Workouts Well: Best Pre-Workout Foods

My athletes often ask for the best strategy when it comes to fueling their workouts and training sessions. High protein? High carbs? Low fat? Fruit? Energy bars? There are so many performance products on the market. How do you pick the right option for you? Making choices that fuel your workouts correctly makes all the difference when improving performance and overall fitness. Pre-fueling strategy involves considering both nutrients and timing.

NUTRIENTS for Performance and Endurance

Complete protein: organic chicken and turkey, grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs, unsweetened full-fat Greek yogurt, organic full-fat cottage cheese, organic full-fat milk, lean pork, wild salmon, wild cod, wild halibut, tilapia, shrimp, scallops, crab, lobster

Fast-acting carbohydrates: fresh pressed juice (see my favorite in the gallery above: Daily Greens!), fruit smoothie, bananas, raisins, dried cranberries, pears, grapes, watermelon, cherries, blueberries, honey, maple syrup, molasses, white potato (no skin)

Complex carbohydrates: sweet potato, quinoa, amaranth, millet, oats, sprouted grain bread, 100% whole grain breads and tortillas, 100% whole grain English muffin, 100% whole grain bagel, 100% whole grain crackers, beans, lentils, peas, brown rice, black rice, wild rice, 100% whole grain cold cereal, 100% whole grain pasta, corn, white potato with skin

Caffeine: coffee, Bai 5 drinks (see in gallery above), whole leaf green tea, pre-workout drink (e.g. Celsius), 72% dark chocolate

Vitamin C: oranges, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi, spinach, kale, swiss chard, red bell peppers, antioxidant/electrolyte powder (e.g. Trace Minerals Electrolyte Stamina)

Branched Chain Amino Acids (Leucine, Iso-leucine, Valine): eggs, fish, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, chicken breast, grass fed beef

B Vitamin Complex: organic Spirulina (see ENERGYBits in gallery above), B complex vitamin (e.g. Garden of Life, MegaFood, New Chapter), chicken breast, grass fed beef, cage-free eggs, leafy greens

L-Citrulline Malate (amino acid): watermelon, organic milk, legumes, lean meats, wild fish

L-Tyrosine (amino acid): chicken, turkey, lean meats, wild fish, organic milk, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, almonds, pumpkin seeds, avocados, bananas, sesame seeds

Creatine (amino acid): game meats, lean red meat, wild fish (our bodies can also synthesize creatine from two other amino acids, methionine and glycine)

Beta-Alanine: meat, wild fish, organic poultry

Taurine: wild fish, meats (our bodies can also produce taurine with two other amino acids, methionine and cysteine)

Green tea: Matcha, Sencha, whole leaf

Spirulina: ENERGYBits are my favorite! Use my discount code (LaurenMinchen) for 30% off your online purchase!

TIMING for Performance and Energy

The time at which you fuel can vary based on your specific needs and digestive health. Below are the most common times at which my athletes fuel up for their training sessions and the nutrients that are most important at that meal or snack:

4 Hours Pre-workout: protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, Spirulina

2 Hours Pre-workout: protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, Spirulina

1 Hour Pre-workout: protein, fast-acting carbohydrates, caffeine, BCAAs, Vitamin C, B Complex, green tea, amino acids (Citrulline, Taurine, Tyrosine, Creatine, Beta-alanine, leucine, iso-leucine, valine)

15-30 Minutes Pre-workout: protein, fast-acting carbohydrates, caffeine, BCAAs, Vitamin C, B Complex, green tea, amino acids (Citrulline, Taurine, Tyrosine, Creatine, Beta-alanine, leucine, iso-leucine, valine)

Meal & Snack Examples

4 Hours Before: 1/2 cup full-fat cottage cheese + 1 cup fresh berries + 30 ENERGYBits tabs

2 Hours Before: 4 ounces grilled chicken topped with 1/4 avocado + 1/2 cup cooked quinoa + 30 ENERGYBits tabs

1 Hour Before: 4 slices organic turkey breast + Daily Greens juice + Celsius performance drink (at least 4 hours before bed because of caffeine content) + Solgar BCAA Plus supplement + 30 ENERGYBits tabs

15-30 Minutes Before: 4 ounces organic roast beef slices + Daily Greens juice + Solgar BCAA Plus + 30 ENERGYBits tabs + Bai 5 drink OR 1 mug Matcha green tea

Over the next several weeks, I will be posting more details on specific nutrients (think Matcha green tea and ENERGYBits) for better sports performance and fitness. Stay tuned!

*I love interacting with my readers! If you have a question or comment, post below.

**I am a brand ambassador for ENERGYBits and Daily Greens juices. Contact me directly with questions about these nutritious foods.


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