This article was originally published in May 2015
Choosing the right foods before your workout can make all the difference in keeping you feeling strong and energetic from start to finish. Make time for a light meal about 45 minutes before you hit the gym or trail, and take advantage of smart combinations.
It’s not always easy to find the right pre-workout meal, but trying to give your all when you’re running on empty isn’t a good idea. Thinking in pairs will steer you in an easy-to-remember direction.
Nuts + fruit
Spread sliced apples with your favorite nut butter or munch a handful of whole almonds along with some fresh cherries. The fats and proteins in the nuts last longer and energize the end of your workout, while the simple sugars in the whole fruit provide a quicker energy boost to get you started.
Lean protein + whole grain
If you’re working out later in the day, you might want a more savory lunchtime sort of meal. A small portion of lean protein along with whole grains is the perfect combo to fuel you through an afternoon run at the park. For breakfast, whole oats topped with a handful of nuts are a great choice.
Whole fruit + protein powder
Not all smoothies are created equal. Opt for whole fruits, rather than just juices, and try to mix in avocado or greens to reduce the sugar hit. Adding low-fat yogurt and a protein powder, maybe along with some seeds, is a good call, too — the protein will keep you going once the fructose wears off.
4 foods for fuel
Justin’s Almond Butter
Almond butter is delicious with apples, pears and bananas; Justin’s offers a good amount of unsaturated fat for fuel, and it’s blended with sustainably sourced palm oil for smooth richness. It also comes in portable 1.5-ounce squeeze packs.
Pacific Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Organic steel-cut oats that are hot and ready to eat in just two minutes? These whole grains have hearty homemade flavor and are available in several varieties, including unsweetened.
PCC Show Me the Whey protein powder
Available in Vanilla, Chocolate or Natural flavors, our top-selling whey protein is sourced in the U.S., from cows that are rBGH-free and have pasture access.
Wallaby Lowfat Plain Yogurt
Thick and rich thanks to its traditional straining process, this rich-tasting yogurt has far more protein than fat, four active cultures and a deliciously tangy flavor that works well with fruit, smoothies or as an oatmeal topper.