A quick scroll on Instagram is all it takes to be reminded of how seriously we Aussies take our gym culture - but working out isn’t the only determining factor in creating a lean, toned beach bod! In fact, research shows that approximately 70% of fat-loss is actually derived from the foods we consume.
As well as this, our bodies have been shown to perform differently depending upon what we fuel them with. So, before you hit the gym - we’re here to help you work out what foods will help you get the most out of each session. Read on to find out…
Snacking for Success – Our Top Pre-Workout Foods
The main role that carbohydrates play in the body is to provide us with glucose – the molecule which (through a range of chemical processes) allows our muscles to work. During a workout, glucose is depleted, which eventually leads to our muscles becoming fatigued.
It is important to consume some form of carbohydrates in any pre-workout meal, as this will ensure the body has the resources it needs, to release the energy our muscles use.
While protein is not essential to improving exercise performance, there is evidence to suggest that consumption of protein prior to exercise may lead to an increase in protein synthesis, and therefore improve post-workout muscle repair and recovery. However, studies also show that adequate protein consumption throughout the day, regardless of when it is consumed, improves muscle recovery and growth.1,2
Consumption of fats in the meal leading up to a workout is more likely to maintain our satiety, rather than improve our performance immediately, as healthy fats reduce blood glucose spikes. This is because our bodies use glucose and glycogen (which we receive from carbohydrates) as our main source of energy for short, high-intensity exercise and activities such as sprinting, whereas fats are utilised by the body during moderate-to-low-intensity exercise such as walking, and endurance activities.
Studies have shown that improvements in endurance performance have resulted from long-term high-fat diets rather than simply consuming fats immediately prior to a workout.3
While there is a multitude of research that exists, telling us what we should and shouldn’t consume to get the most out of our workouts, it is important to remember that each and every one of us is different, and will react differently to different foods. So, find what works best for you, and go do it!
3 Snacks To Get You Started
For those short of time, or less inclined in the kitchen – these bite-sized balls of beauty are perfect! Containing natural sources of carbohydrates from the dates, healthy fats from the almonds, and cacao which is packed full of nutrients such as magnesium (to help in muscle repair) – we’ve got you covered.
2: Peanut Butter Protein Oats
The ideal breakfast for anyone - whether you are working out or not!
Oats are an unbeatable source of low GI carbohydrates, perfect for improving blood glucose control - keeping us fuller for longer and bursting with energy. Adding a scoop of either plant-based or whey protein (depending on which you prefer) can give your breakfast the boost you need and may lead to greater results at the gym. For the perfect ‘Peanut Butter Protein Oats’:
- Add ½ cup Naked Foods Organic Rolled Oats and ½ cup milk of choice to a bowl, heat in the microwave (or over a stove) for roughly 1-2 minutes, or until desired consistency is achieved.
- Remove from microwave/stove and add 1-2 tbsp of Naked Foods Raw Organic Vanilla Vegan Protein, stirring until well combined.
- Top with 1 chopped banana, and 1 tbsp Naked Foods Peanut Butter. Enjoy!
3: Mango Maca Smoothie
For those of you who cringe at the thought of eating before working out, we get it! Smoothies are easy and quick to digest, so try this one out…
- Add ½ a frozen banana, ½ a mango, 1 tsp Naked Foods Organic Raw Maca Powder, and 1 cup coconut milk to a blender - blend until smooth.
- In a glass, add 1 tsp Naked Foods Organic Chia Seeds before pouring the mango blend on top. Stir to combine.
- Top with caramelized buckinis, goji berries and coconut flakes.
About The Author: Stephanie Harris
Steph has fed her passion for fitness, food and photography for the past 5 years in the health industry. She is a qualified personal trainer and a Health Sciences graduate – in her spare time you can find her working out, developing new recipes or writing for her blog, Feeding Energy!